Marriage equality ‘must be extended across Ireland’

A previous Foyle Pride parade in Derry.

A previous Foyle Pride parade in Derry.

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Marriage equality should be extended across the island of Ireland, Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Elisha McCallion has said.

Ms McCallion was speaking as talks continue at Stormont to try and get the power-sharing institutions back up and running.

Foyle Sinn Fein MLAs Elisha McCallion and Raymond McCartney with party leader Gerry Adams.

Foyle Sinn Fein MLAs Elisha McCallion and Raymond McCartney with party leader Gerry Adams.

She said: “Sinn Féin presented the people with a platform of equality, integrity and respect and that was endorsed in huge numbers by the electorate.

“We will now use that mandate to deliver for everyone in our society, including our LGB&T communities.”

She added: “Sinn Féin is committed to seeing marriage equality extended across the island of Ireland.

“No one has anything to fear from equal marriage and society in general can only benefit from equality.”

Back in November 2015, a motion brought by Sinn Fein and the SDLP to make marriage equality law in the north won an Assembly majority, but was blocked by the DUP, after the party deployed a petition of concern.

However following last week’s election, the DUP has now lost its petition of concern, having returned 29 MLAs, one short of the number needed to use the veto.

In May 2015, Ireland became first country to legalise gay marriage through public vote. A Referendum held in south saw 62% of people voting for it. 
The north is now the only part of Ireland or the UK not to have legalised same sex marriage.