Amanda and Cara have a wedding date: they’re just waiting for Northern Ireland to pass marriage equality.
This lesbian couple are going to the Parliament to campaign to allow same-sex couples to marry.
Northern Ireland is the only part of Ireland and the UK to not have passed marriage equality.
Lesbian couple fighting for marriage equality in Northern Ireland
Cara McCann and Amanda McGurk will be traveling from Belfast to London to speak to politicians about an upcoming bill.
Conor McGinn MP will introduce his Marriage (Same Sex Couples) (Northern Ireland) Bill in the House of Commons on Wednesday at 12.30pm, directly after Prime Ministers’ Questions.
‘We don’t have the same rights as the people who live in the same country as us,’ McCann told Gay Star News.
‘We pay the same taxes. It’s a fundamental rights issue. I’m treated as a second-class citizen.’
Amanda spotted Cara at a Pride event a few years ago. They got engaged in New York City a year and a half ago. They’re planning to return to Manhattan for their honeymoon.
Their hope is get married on Valentine’s Day 2019. If marriage equality is not passed, it will be a civil partnership ceremony instead.
‘Why should we have to wait? We have family members and friends who are old,’ Cara said.
‘Tomorrow is promised to no one.’
Over 30,000 people call for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland
The couple will hand a 30,000 strong petition to 10 Downing Street, also on 28 March.
The DUP has repeatedly blocked marriage equality in Northern Ireland. They have used a Petition of Concern, a voting mechanism designed to protest the rights of minorities in Northern Ireland.
This in despite that a majority of people in Northern Ireland and politicians in the Assembly want marriage equality.
Cara believes that many people already falsely believe same-sex marriage is legal in Northern Ireland.
‘It’s really frustrating that we know the public are behind us and the elected representatives are behind us,’ she said.
‘We’ve won the hearts and minds of the public. But we still can’t get it passed because of a bigoted few.’
The Love Equality campaign for equal civil marriage in Northern Ireland is led by the Rainbow Project, Amnesty International, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Cara-Friend, NUS-USI and HereNI.
For Cara, she wants to call Amanda her wife – not her civil partner.
‘My friends had a civil partnership last month. I looked at Amanda. I remember saying to her that he should be saying “I take you as my husband” not “I take you as my civil partner”.
‘As a kid, you don’t dream of getting a civil partnership. You dream of getting married.
‘I want to call Amanda my wife.’