Activists have condemned the UK government’s failure to act on the issue of marriage equality in Northern Ireland.
This was after a car crash meeting between Northern Ireland secretary Karen Bradley and LGBT+ campaigners on Monday.
Cara McCann, Director of HereNI, told PinkNews: “Today’s meeting was hugely disappointing.
“Karen Bradley simply reiterated the government’s policy of inaction on marriage equality, effectively committing it to ongoing discrimination against same-sex couples in Northern Ireland.
“Sadly, the Secretary of State, far from upholding the rights of LGBT people in Northern Ireland, seems content for us to live as second-class citizens within the UK.”
Representing Love Equality at Westminster today.
There’s already a hard border in Ireland *and* down the Irish Sea when it comes to equal marriage. Long overdue for the Government to legislate. pic.twitter.com/3kUHiMQlM0
— Love Equality NI (@Love_EqualityNI) March 18, 2019
Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland director of Amnesty International, added:
“If Karen Bradley can introduce Northern Ireland legislation at Westminster for everything from RHI boilers to MLAs’ expenses, then she can extend marriage rights to loving couples who just want equal treatment under the law.”
NI Secretary of State Karen Bradley tells Commons she supports equal marriage legislation for Northern Ireland, but won’t deliver equal marriage legislation for Northern Ireland.
She wants the non-existent Stormont Assembly to deliver the legislation.
Very helpful. pic.twitter.com/yo2jLqtkp3
— Patrick Corrigan (@PatrickCorrigan) March 5, 2019
Westminster has the power to overrule the current inequality in Northern Ireland but ministers have said this is a matter for Northern Ireland’s politicians to decide.
As it stands, Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK which still bans marriage for same-sex couples, despite majority support among both the Northern Ireland Assembly and the public.
Kristian Nairn, who is best known for his role as Hodor in Game of Thrones, has said that it’s “crazy” that his home country of Northern Ireland still bans same-sex marriage.
“It confuses me why we always have to be that little step behind on social issues like this. It should be brought into line with the rest of the UK,” he told Thompson Reuters Foundation.
“It makes it hard to be an ambassador from here, there’s a lot of very amazing things about Northern Ireland, but the gay rights issues are definitely not one of them,” Kristian continued.
“It’s not as if we’re going anywhere. We’re human beings and we’re no more, no less than anybody else.”
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