The stakes are high. The peculiarities of Northern Ireland politics have provided us with a unique and historic opportunity.
With enough support, the right to marry the person you love, to be a full and a equal citizen of the UK, could finally come to the people of Northern Ireland.
With direct rule in operation, the promise of a free vote in the UK Parliament from the Northern Ireland secretary, and a private member’s bill to be introduced at the end of this month by Labour MP, Conor McGinn, the pieces are falling into place.
The DUP leadership have used their veto power to cruelly deny LGBTQ people their dignity and equality for so long.
But according to an independent poll carried out by IPSOS Mori in 2016, 70% of people in Northern Ireland disagree with this outdated and deeply homophobic position.
The people of Northern Ireland want marriage equality. The vast majority of representatives in the Northern Ireland Assembly want marriage equality. The Prime Minister Theresa May has said that she wants people in Northern Ireland to have the same marriage rights as in the rest of the UK.
People across the UK have been standing up for couples like Jayne and Laura. They’re in a deeply committed and loving relationship, are bringing up a beautiful daughter and just want the basic right that people everywhere else in the UK have – the right to marry the person they love, to be recognised, to be equal.
Mr. McGinn’s bill is expected to pass its first hurdle. But, then it will be up to the UK Government to legislate to bring marriage equality to the whole of the UK.
Now is the time to stand up for equality. There can be no excuses. There can be no pandering to the DUP because the Government is worried about its Parliamentary majority.
On March 28th, All Out and our partners, Love Equality Northern Ireland and Amnesty International UK, will be at 10 Downing Street to deliver our petitions with a loud and clear message: Bring marriage equality to Northern Ireland now!