Labour LGBT calls on Westminster to legislate for marriage equality in Northern Ireland
Following the collapse of talks to reestablish the Northern Ireland executive and the likelihood of British direct rule, Labour LGBT in the Republic of Ireland has written to its Sister Party Groups SDLP LGBT+ and LGBT Labour UK to formally support the campaign for the UK parliament in Westminster to introduce marriage equality in Northern Ireland for same sex couples.
Speaking on the issue Labour LGBT Co-Chairs Karl Hayden and Aoife Leahy said:
“Same sex couples in Northern Ireland deserve the same rights of equality as their lesbian, gay, bi and trans counterparts in Britain and Ireland.
“In November 2015 the Northern Ireland Assembly voted in favour of Marriage Equality based on a motion introduced jointly by the SDLP.
“This vote was vetoed by the Democratic Unionist Party, which we see as an abuse of the Petition of Concern introduced as part of the Belfast Agreement in 1998. Northern Ireland is now the only part of these islands not to provide Marriage Equality for its citizens.
“This week on Valentines day, Love Equality Northern Ireland delivered a petition to Stormont demanding Marriage Equality for same-sex couples. The petition, along with recent opinion polls, shows majority approval for Marriage Equality in Northern Ireland.
“We are calling on the Westminster Parliament to legislate for Marriage Equality in Northern Ireland. In the current context of possible direct British Rule we will be lobbying our British Labour counterparts, LGBT Labour UK to work to bring an end to the inequality faced by same-sex couples in Northern Ireland.”