Northern Ireland news

Same-sex marriage is coming to Northern Ireland `one way or another', Newry Pride is told

Pride in Newry brought a rainbow of colour onto the streets of the Co Down city

SAME-SEX marriage is coming to Northern Ireland "one way or another", gay rights activists were told in Newry at the weekend.

The city's annual Pride parade passed off peacefully a year after the 2016 festivities ended in a homophobic attack.

Committee members were attacked hours after the end of the annual festival in Newry celebrating the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

On Saturday, Amnesty International's Patrick Corrigan told the crowd, who brought a rainbow of colour onto the streets of the city, that the last four years "have seen the highest rates of homophobic hate crime recorded by the PSNI since records began".

He castigated the Northern Ireland Executive for 10 years of "failure" to produce a sexual orientation strategy to tackle the "inequality, discrimination and harassment faced by the LGBTI community".

Mr Corrigan said along with marriage equality, this must be a priority for any new executive.

"The ability of same-sex couples to marry is a human rights issue," he said.

"If we have direct rule instead of devolution, we will look to Westminster to legislate for equality where Stormont has failed.

"Have no doubt, one way or another, equal marriage is coming to Northern Ireland."

SDLP councillor Pete Byrne said "achieving full equality has become the civil rights fight of today".

Sinn Féin assembly member Megan Fearon also said "now is the time for marriage equality in the north".

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