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Equal marriage campaigner tells Northern Irish politicians to ‘respect the will of the people’

Joseph McCormick August 1, 2017
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A campaigner for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland has said politicians there should respect “the will of the people”.

Una Mullally, equal marriage campaigner, said the people of Northern Ireland “overwhelmingly support marriage equality”.

She spoke ahead of Amnesty International’s Belfast Pride Lecture which took place on Tuesday evening.

Arlene Foster with British Prime Minister, Theresa May

“One of the things we need to work on as an island as a whole, is greater solidarity and communication between communities north and south. This is acutely apparent in how the LGBT community’s rights have been divided on the island,” she said.

“It is absurd that a lesbian or gay couple can get married in Dundalk but not Newry, Letterkenny but not Strabane, Clones but not Enniskillen. It is absurd too, that politicians continue to veto the equality and rights of people in Northern Ireland, disrespecting the will of the people, who overwhelmingly support marriage equality in the North. On what basis is this being done other than prejudice?

“Marriage equality is not just an issue for lesbian and gay couples, it is not just about weddings, it is not just about extending access to an institution to people who have been excluded from it. It is about recognising that all of us are equal and deserve to be seen and treated as such.

“The politicians who oppose marriage equality need to reflect on the impetuses that are pushing them to do so. Prejudice, discrimination, meanness, and a lack of charity and fairness are not Christian values.”

The Irish Times columnist also authored ‘In the Name of Love, an oral history of the movement for marriage equality in Ireland’.

She also campaigned for same-sex marriage in the Republic of Ireland which saw same-sex marriage legalised in 2015.

The Northern Ireland Assembly is not currently functioning, due to the collapse of the power-sharing agreement between the DUP and Sinn Fein.

The DUP is strongly opposed to LGBT equality, and has employed peace process powers to override democratic votes in favour of equal marriage in the Northern Irish Assembly.

Northern Ireland remains the only part of the UK where same-sex marriage is not legal.

The DUP last week met Theresa May’s backing for equal marriage in Northern Ireland with a frosty reception.

The Prime Minister penned an op-ed for PinkNews yesterday to mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality.

Related topics: equal marriage, gay marriage, marriage equality, Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland

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