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Marriage equality demand increases as Northern Ireland talks collapse

Marriage equality demand increases as Northern Ireland talks collapse

Thousands are calling on Northern Ireland to pass equal marriage

Demand for marriage equality in Northern Ireland will increase after talks between the two leading parties failed.

On Monday Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald hinted that progress was being made between them aand the DUP..

She highlighted how ‘some people’ needed to ‘step into the light of 2018 in terms of same-sex marriage’

Thousands marched for same-sex marriage in Belfast
Thousands marched for same-sex marriage in Belfast Stephen Donnan

Talks collapse as LBGTI advocates look to UK for help

But on Thursday (15 February), Sinn Fein reportedly stormed out of talks to restore a devolved government.

Now, supporters including Labour MP Ged Killen are pushing for the UK government to extend the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act.

Labour MP Ged Killen has called for the UK Conservative government to extend the Marriage Act

Marriage equality ‘hard-won right for the UK LGBTI community’

In a letter to Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley, Killen wrote:

‘Shortly before your appointment I raised issue of the recognition of same sex marriages in Northern Ireland with your predecessor at Northern Ireland questions.

‘In my question, I asked the Government whether it would consider amending the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 to allow same sex marriages conducted in the rest of the UK to be recognized in Northern Ireland.

‘Same sex marriages are a hard fought and hard won right for the LGBT community in the UK.

‘However, under the current legislation this right is not recognized in Northern Ireland.’

Political deadlock

Consequently sue is deemed as sensitive to the UK Tory government who rely heavily on DUP votes to sustain parliament majority.

However the DUP strongly opposes same-sex marriage, which is legal in English and Welsh law.

‘However, the Government could act to ensure that UK citizens do not have their rights to a recognized marriage removed simply because they choose to settle in another part of the country,’ continued Killen.

‘Various court cases have been undertaken to provide for the recognition of UK same sex marriages in Northern Ireland.

‘However these legal challenges have been dismissed in judgements which have cited the need for legislation.

‘The Government has previously stated that it will continue to advocate for the rights of LGBT people in Northern Ireland despite its confidence and supply agreement with the DUP.

‘I am hoping that as the incoming Secretary of State you will demonstrate this and ensure that there is no regulatory divergence between Northern Ireland the UK when it comes to recognizing marriage.’

According to the Belfast Telegraph, the DUP made ‘sanctions’ towards same sex marriage before the talks officially collapsed.