Northern Ireland news

Karen Bradley to meet Northern Ireland same-sex marriage campaigners in London

Secretary of State Karen Bradley
Brendan Hughes

CAMPAIGNERS for legalising same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland will hold a meeting today in London with Secretary of State Karen Bradley.

Representatives of the Love Equality campaign group will meet with Ms Bradley and Northern Ireland Office minister Lord Ian Duncan at Whitehall.

They will also brief MPs and House of Lords peers from across the Westminster parties on the campaign.

Northern Ireland is the only part of Ireland and Britain where same-sex marriage remains outlawed.

In 2015 a majority of MLAs voted for same-sex marriage, but it was blocked by the DUP using the petition of concern veto.

Read More: Westminster bid to introduce same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland is withdrawn

Campaigners have called on Westminister to legislate for same-sex marriage in the continued absence of devolved government at Stormont following its collapse in 2017.

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International's Northern Ireland director and Love Equality member, urged Ms Bradley to "end discrimination" faced by LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) couples in Northern Ireland "by extending same-sex marriage legislation".

"It is hypocritical for the government to boast of its record on LGBT rights in the rest of the UK, while turning a blind eye to the second-class citizenship faced by people in Northern Ireland solely as a result of their sexual orientation," he said.

"If Karen Bradley can introduce Northern Ireland legislation at Westminster for everything from RHI boilers to MLAs' expenses, then she can extend marriage rights to loving couples who just want equal treatment under the law."

Read More: Theresa May urged to back same-sex marriage in NI

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