Restored Assembly can help deliver equal marriage, says Long

Alliance Leader Naomi Long has said a restored Assembly can deliver equal marriage for Northern Ireland.

The East Belfast MLA was speaking after taking part in an event by the Love Equality group at Parliament Buildings, which saw the handing across of a petition calling for the introduction of equal marriage here. Mrs Long, one of a number of cross-party MLAs who worked to bring a private member’s bill on the matter in the previous Assembly, said Stormont was capable of delivering the measure.

“It is embarrassing to all democrats Northern Ireland is the only region of these islands to deny a basic human right to its citizens. Studies show a majority of people across the community support the introduction of equal marriage,” she said.

“We also have a majority of MLAs in favour of its introduction. Now we need to get an Assembly restored which is capable of delivering it. Reform of the petition of concern in particular is also crucial to open everything up and help that reality.

“This is not about trying to give the LGBT community extra rights but rather the same rights as everyone else. I would encourage everyone campaigning to not give up hope – equal marriage is still within our reach, which the support evident today from across the majority of parties has shown.”

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