Northern Ireland news

Theresa May urged to back same-sex marriage in NI as campaigners recognised at awards

The Rainbow Project and Cara-Friend were named as joint winners of the Community Group of the Year accolade

THERESA May has been urged to back same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland as campaigners celebrated individuals and organisations who have made a difference to the LGBT community.

The PinkNews Awards event in London saw campaigners in the north recognised, with the Rainbow Project and Cara-Friend named as the joint winners of the Community Group of the Year accolade.

John O'Doherty, director of the Rainbow Project, used his acceptance speech to urge the British prime minister to support calls to extend same-sex marriage to the north.

"We have watched as the Republic of Ireland and the rest of the UK have legislated for marriage and ensured equal recognition under the law for same-sex couples, and we have our faces pressed against the glass of equality," he said.

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"Westminster must legislate and we ask people from across the UK to write to the prime minister, secretary of state for Northern Ireland and women's and equalities minister urging them to legislate for equal marriage in Northern Ireland."

The Politician of the Year gong was jointly awarded to Labour MP Conor McGinn and Conservative peer Lord Hayward, who earlier this year introduced private members' bills at Westminster on bringing same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland.

British home secretary Sajid Javid and former prime minister Tony Blair were among those who attended the event, as well as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who also backed calls for legislation on same-sex marriage.

"Let's get into the law the situation facing the LGBT community in Northern Ireland, and have same-sex marriage legislated for in Northern Ireland," he said.

The politician of the year gong was jointly awarded to Labour MP Conor McGinn (right) and Conservative peer Lord Hayward (left), pictured with John Bercow

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