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Protest calls for same-sex marriage

Thousands of people took to the streets of Dublin yesterday to march for civil marriage equality.

Singer Brian Kennedy joined members of the LGBT - lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender - community, their family and friends for the demonstration.

The protesters gathered at City Hall before marching to the Department of Justice on St Stephen's Green, where a mass rally was staged.

Kennedy told the crowd: "I am here today because this is a human rights issue.

"There are 150 anomalies between civil partnership and civil marriage; this is the first rung on the ladder, but there are many rungs still to climb until we reach equality."

Campaign group LGBT Noise believes the denial of marriage equality in Ireland is a human rights issue.

Organiser Max Krzyzanowski urged the Government to listen to the repeated calls highlighting the inequalities of civil partnership legislation and demonstrate their commitment to equality for all by lifting the ban on same-sex marriage.

He maintained the Civil Partnership Act 2011 has only served to cement inequality in Irish society by explicitly excluding LGBT people from the institution of marriage.

"Many of us will endure poor treatment and discrimination without drawing lines, or vigorously protesting," he said.

"It is when we see discrimination inflicted on another that we resolve to fight, and I believe that it is our empathy that compels us to action today, and a desire to see that current and future generations of Irish people do not have to live with laws that marginalise and stigmatise them because of who they love."

Youth activist Bobby Edgar, from Tralee, Co Kerry, added: "Our government is adding to the bullying already going on in our schools; what we must do is stand up against them and make some noise and they should listen, for the good of our youths, if not for anyone else."

© Press Association