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Wedding party make detour to vote in same sex marriage referendum

Gail Bell
A FAMILY wedding is always a big day but for a former Ulster University student his sister's nuptials collided with voting in the Republic's marriage referendum.

As a gay man, and proud big brother to Orla, Ian Faulkner (37) made a detour to the polling booth at Laytown, Co Meath - joined by his heterosexual twin Colm and the bride herself, in full wedding regalia.

A former student at the Magee campus in Derry, Ian said it was a "hugely significant" day as family and constitutional milestones came together.

"The three of us, my twin brother, my sister and myself, all went to vote together," he told The Irish News.

"For me, being a gay man, the referendum is an equality issue and the fact it is happening on my sister's wedding day makes it all the more personal and emotional.

"It makes me hope that some day I might be able to get married myself - it is about not being treated any differently or made to feel any less worthy than my siblings."

Ian, whose wedding duties yesterday included singing and playing the piano, said friends in the LGBT community in Belfast had offered "absolutely brilliant support" during the referendum campaign.

A manager with an internet company, the Co Meath man sings with Gloria, Dublin's gay and lesbian choir and said he will be travelling north to watch a concert in the Theatre at the Mill by Belfast's Quire LGBT Singers.

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