Alliance’s Naomi Long has said Northern Ireland needs to move as soon as possible to introduce equal marriage.
Ms Long was speaking after the government on the island of Guernsey voted to legislate for equal marriage. Naomi Long said: “Yet again we have another government voting in favour of legislating for equal marriage. I congratulate the government of Guernsey on this step recognising the rights of all citizens to be married.
“The Netherlands was the first country to introduce equal marriage in 2001, and since then more than 20 other countries have taken this progressive step. In 2014 England, Wales and Scotland introduced equal marriage, with the Republic of Ireland following in 2015.
“It is embarrassing to all democrats that Northern Ireland is the only region of these islands to deny a basic human right to its citizens. I believe a majority of people support the introduction of equal marriage. In order to bring this about I am working closely with a cross party group of MLAs who share that commitment and who want to cooperate in bringing a Private Members Bill to the Assembly. Work is well underway with those in the LGBT sector and we now have a draft bill, which we hope can pave the way for a change in the law here.
“I believe the majority of Assembly members would support this bill if given a free vote by their party. It is time our political leaders took this progressive step to show all citizens how much they are valued.”