Colum Eastwood speaks of 'shameful' discrimination against gay brother
COLUM Eastwood has said it is "infuriating" that his gay brother is denied the same rights in Northern Ireland as him.
The SDLP leader said his younger brother Liam (29), who lives in London, would be "treated as less" if he chose to make the north his home.
Mr Eastwood said the Irish and British governments need to push through reform of the Stormont's petition of concern to ensure moves to legalise same-sex marriage are not vetoed in future.
"The right that I have to get married to the person I love is not extended to him and to people like him in Northern Ireland," he told The Irish News.
"I think that’s very difficult to accept."
In 2015, the Foyle MLA brought the first assembly motion which saw a majority of MLAs back gay marriage. However, the vote was vetoed by a DUP petition of concern.
"It (the petition of concern) was put there to protect minorities but now it's being used to abuse them as a kind of dead end veto," he said.
Mr Eastwood said he believed that if the petition of concern was not reformed then the DUP could muster support from other unionists and again block same-sex marriage.
"That would be a real shame," he said.
"It's a dangerous thing for society to say you don’t count like the rest of us."