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Northern Ireland: Ged Killen MP says 'opponents of same-sex marriage have lost' - Belfast Pride speech

Ged Killen MP with LGBTI+ activists in Belfast

Ged Killen MP calls on Theresa May to legislate for marriage equality in Northern Ireland in Amnesty International’s Belfast Pride speech  

Westminster inaction is ‘stitch-up to prevent people from claiming their rights’

‘MPs and Peers are committed to the cause and we will not stop until we have secured equality for the people of Northern Ireland’

Ged Killen MP has ramped up pressure on the Prime Minister to extend equal marriage legislation to Northern Ireland, in a key note address at the annual Amnesty International Belfast Pride Lecture this evening.

Mr Killen, a campaigner for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland and supporter of the campaign to legislate for equal marriage at Westminster, declared that “the opponents of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland have lost - they would lose a vote in a referendum, they would lose a vote in the Assembly and they would lose a vote in Parliament”.

“Instead of facing a vote, they now run away,” he continued. “It can only be described as one thing, a stitch-up to prevent people from claiming their rights.” 

Killen affirmed that there is strong cross-party support for equal marriage legislation in Parliament and sent a warning to the Prime Minister that “we will not stop until we have secured equality for the people of Northern Ireland.”

The Scottish MP was addressing an audience at Amnesty International’s Belfast Pride event - ‘Marriage equality: winning at Westminster’ - which took place at Queen’s University Belfast on Thursday evening as part of the city’s week-long Pride festival.

Extracts from Ged Killen MP’s key note speech

“70% of the Northern Irish public regularly say they support the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

“The Assembly supports it. When it was up and running, MLAs voted in favour of same-sex marriage, only to be blocked by a petition of concern tabled by a group of politicians who represent a minority view.

“The British Parliament supports it, as there is a clear majority that would vote to extend same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland.

“Under these circumstances, it is anti-democratic not to legislate for same-sex marriage and Westminster has a moral and a democratic obligation to do so.

“The opponents of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland have lost - they would lose a vote in a referendum, they would lose a vote in the Assembly and they would lose a vote in Parliament.

“Instead of facing a vote, they now run away, using cheap parlour tricks and the machinations of parliamentary processes and the petition of concern to deny the will of the people of Northern Ireland, imposing a minority view on Northern Ireland’s LGBT+ community. It can only be described as one thing, a stitch-up to prevent people from claiming their rights.

“However, MPs, peers and communities across the UK will continue to put pressure on the Government and call on Theresa May to act.

“For many of us, including myself, this is personal as well as political. In the absence of the Assembly, MPs and peers are committed to the cause and we will not stop until we have secured equality for the people of Northern Ireland.

“We need to force the Government to change its mind. Theresa May needs to decide whether £1bn and a fragile grip of power is worth perpetuating the ongoing discrimination against the LGBT+ community in Northern Ireland.”

 

 

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