Sinn Féin Holding LGBT Meeting At Belfast's Kremlin Bar

Sinn Féin are still hopeful of moving the campaign for marriage equality in Northern Ireland forward despite a breakdown in talks with the DUP.

Members of Sinn Féin

Sinn Féin leadership will hold an LGBT meeting at Belfast’s Kremlin Bar this evening.

This is one of many public meetings being held by the party to discuss the current political climate across Northern Ireland.

Equality spokesperson for Sinn Féin Megan Fearon accused the DUP of withholding equal rights from the LGBT community.

“Wednesday’s meeting will focus on the current political impasse caused by the DUP’s decision to collapse the power-sharing negotiations rather than accept rights which are afforded to citizens everywhere else on these islands,” said the Newry and Armagh MLA speaking to the Belfast Telegraph Digital.

“It is an opportunity for the wider community to engage directly with the Sinn Féin party leadership as we plan the way forward for this society.

“All citizens must be afforded rights, be they marriage rights, rights to coroner’s inquests or language rights.”

Ms Fearon said Sinn Féin would continue to campaign for equal rights in the country regardless of the collapse of the talks by the DUP.

“Sinn Féin will continue to campaign and demand that those rights are implemented,” she said.

“While the talks process has been collapsed, standing still is not an option. We made it clear to Theresa May that the collapse of the talks by the DUP cannot be an excuse for the continued denial rights to citizens in the north.

“The north of Ireland is the only place in these islands, the only place in western Europe, that denies the right to marriage equality.

“During the negotiations, Sinn Féin worked to secure a pathway to introduce marriage equality. It was our preference that this would be done by local power-sharing institutions which are genuinely committed to a rights-based society.

“However, the DUP collapsed the talks, stalling progress.”

She is hopeful that Westminister will introduce marriage equality in Northern Ireland.

“Last week the British Secretary of State confirmed her government will allow a free vote on any proposal in Westminster to legislate for marriage equality here. The Labour Party immediately confirmed its intention to bring forward such a proposal,” Ms Fearon said.

“So even in the absence of an administration in Stormont, a clear pathway to marriage quality has now been opened up by our efforts and I look forward to this shameful inequality finally being addressed.

“There is now an onus on the British and Irish governments to convene the British Irish Intergovernmental Conference to ensure the full implementation of agreements and to protect and promote the rights of all citizens.”

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