“Marriage equality is a reality in England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland. It has been fought for and won with blood, sweat and tears in the US, Canada, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium and even in South Africa and in the Pitcairn Islands. But not in Northern Ireland.
We are the same country that produced awesome bands like Snow Patrol and The Undertones and great actors like Liam Neeson and Kenneth Branagh. Game of Thrones is filmed here, as is The Fall. Great women like former Irish President Mary McAleese hail from here. Authors such as CS Lewis, sportsmen like George Best and Rory McIlroy but you know what we don’t have?
Same sex couples are still not equal under the law in this country and we can’t get married in our own city. We can do that in Dublin, Glasgow or London but not in Belfast. We pay taxes, we work, we are teachers, police officers, civil servants, doctors, nurses, chefs, ambulance drivers, mothers, fathers. Sons and daughters. We are society and yet we aren’t part of it.
We have a choice. There’s an election coming up for our local devolved parliament, the NI Assembly. It and the 108 MLAs elected to it have the sole authority over the marriage laws here. So far any attempt, no matter how small, to bring the matter to the floor has been defeated no less than five times.
We need to make a choice. We can continue sniping from the side-lines and hoping for change or we can get involved and make that change happen.
We can’t do that without you and you can’t do that without us. We’re a team, all of us together, and on May 5th we have the chance to make history and elect Pro-LGBT candidates who will stand up for our rights. Just like the men and women at Stonewall, we have a responsibility to future generations to make our voices heard when the time comes.
History is made by those that show up. Don’t be left out of the story”.
He has also reminded people to register to vote in Northern Ireland:
“REMEMBER! You MUST register to vote by April 18th or lose your chance to make a difference!”
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