Gay counsellor Owen Hanley says Westminster marriage equality vote "demonstrates the power of activism"

Counsellor Owen Hanley used a recent speech to celebrate the vote that could bring marriage equality to both sides of the border.

counsellor owen hanley speaking

Progressive Activist and Social Democrat Owen Hanley called marriage equality vote out of Westminster a “vindication of human rights and equality” and “a massive forward step for LGBT+ rights on this island” in a speech following Tuesday’s vote in Britain.

He passionately continued, as reported by the Galway advertiser: “Finally, there will be marriage equality on both sides of the border. This is the result of a huge grassroots movement and once again demonstrates the power of activism and the results peoples engagement with politics. In the vacuum of political leadership in Northern Ireland the average person has stood up and demanded change.”

In a tweet, he also commented on the momentous vote saying: “It’s so great to see progress in the North on Marriage Equality and abortion access. A better Ireland on the way #NowforNI”

The comments come in reaction to MPs in the House of Commons voting in favour of an amendment to the Northern Ireland Bill which means that same-sex marriage will be legalised in Northern Ireland within three months if the devolved government remains stalled. Theresa May, who recently tweeted her support for London Pride, did not take part in the vote.

383 voted in favour and 73 voted against giving a majority of 310.

Among the MPs who voted against equal marriage and abortion access were the DUP, former Northern Ireland secretary James Brokenshire, and Brexiteers such as Andrew Bridgen, David Davis, William Cash, and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

In other news out of Galway, the city has recently voted to raise the rainbow flag at City hall to commemorate Galway Pride’s 30th year in a unanimous vote.

Owen Hanley said on this decision: “The rainbow flag will fly to mark our progress that has been made, in solidarity with the struggles still to be won across the world, and in unity with our community in the North.”

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