Thursday 22 February 2018

Thousands march for marriage equality in the only part of the UK where it’s banned

Demonstrators gathered in Belfast to urge a law change supporting same-sex marriages.

Thousands of campaigners marched through Belfast towards the City Hall (Niall Carson/PA)
Thousands of campaigners marched through Belfast towards the City Hall (Niall Carson/PA)

By Zaina Alibhai

Thousands of people marched for equality in the streets of Northern Ireland, the only part of the UK and Ireland where same-sex marriage is banned.

Gay rights activists, trade unionists, civil servants, firemen, drag queens and same-sex couples turned up at Belfast city centre, waving rainbow flags and banners.

Campaigners called for any new government to support marriage equality in a march that was led by the Lord Mayor of Belfast Nuala McAllister, Northern Ireland-born The Fall actor Bronagh Waugh and Rainbow Project director John O’Doherty.

O’Doherty told political leaders nice words at election time were not enough, saying: “We need action.

“Action to make communities safe, action to make schools safe, an over-arching commitment from all the public institutions to addressing the historical and current inequalities which prevent Northern Ireland from being the society that we all want it to be,” he said.

(Niall Carson/PA)

“Together we are the future of Northern Ireland. We are the progressive majority and those who oppose us will lose, just like they did every time before.

“When we win this battle do not think that we are done. This campaign is not just about changing the law, we are about changing the world.”

Press Association

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