NI: Campaigners call for same-sex marriage legislation following new poll

NI: Campaigners call for same-sex marriage legislation following new poll

Campaigners have called for legislation to allow same-sex marriages in Northern Ireland following an opinion poll which shows “overwhelming support for marriage equality”.

Love Equality said 70 per cent of respondents to a new Ipsos MORI poll said same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, increasing from 68 per cent in a similar poll last year.

Same-sex marriage legislation was approved in Ireland last year and Northern Ireland’s Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir recently asked Stormont officials to begin drafting a same-sex marriage bill.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where there is no legal provision for same-sex marriage, and the prohibition has been subject to a number of court cases, including an ongoing judicial review.

John O’Doherty, spokesperson for Love Equality, said: “This poll demonstrates that, not only is there overwhelming support for marriage equality in Northern Ireland, but that support is only increasing over time. It is clear that the people of Northern Ireland agree with us that marriage equality is one of the defining civil rights issues of our time and that it should immediately be made law.

“Couples in Northern Ireland shouldn’t be forced to travel to other regions for their right to marry. Couples in Northern Ireland who were married in other parts of the UK or Ireland shouldn’t be in a legal limbo because their government refuses to acknowledge their marriages. Marriage Equality is not a fad. It is not going away.

“Those who continue to prevent marriage equality in Northern Ireland are not going to succeed. All they are doing before its inevitable introduction are merely enacting an injustice against their own citizens and worsening Northern Ireland’s already abysmal reputation regarding LGBT rights.”

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