NI: Amnesty calls on parties to move forward on LGBT issues
Amnesty International has reissued a call for the Northern Ireland Executive to deliver a Sexual Orientation Strategy and legislate to allow same-sex marriage.
Speaking ahead of International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia today, Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland programme director at Amnesty, said politicians owed “an apology and an explanation” to the LGBT community.
Mr Corrigan said: “The last Northern Ireland Executive made a commitment to the LGBT community to publish a Sexual Orientation Strategy and Action Plan.
“This strategy was to create a cross-departmental action plan to deliver joined up government to tackle inequality and discrimination. It should be a matter of deep embarrassment to all the parties involved in the last Executive that they failed to deliver on this.
“They owe you an apology and an explanation. But above all else, the incoming Executive owes you a Sexual Orientation Strategy and Action Plan to tackle homophobia and inequality in all its forms. This must be in the Programme for Government, with a fixed timeline for delivery.”
He added: “With a clear majority of newly-elected MLAs in the Assembly now supporting marriage equality - at least 58 out of 108 - we repeat our call for Northern Ireland to join the rest of the UK and Ireland in legislating for equal marriage.
“To all those parties backing equal marriage, we say ‘thank you’ and make a plea for them to work together and with the LGBT community and the Love Equality campaign to unite behind a single, agreed Marriage Equality Bill.
“And to those MLAs who are still determined to oppose equality, we say: vote against it if you must, but please don’t used the petition of concern to prevent rights for a minority and to block the will of the people.”