You can never keep a good man down, they say, and it seems that extends to causes as well as a new campaign for marriage equality in Northern Ireland has launched.
As we all know, Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where same-sex couples can’t get married. A new campaign, by the name of the Love Equality campaign was created by several LGBT organisations. Also joining alongside those organisations are trade unions, student unions and Amnesty International.
John O’Doherty of the Rainbow Project had this to say of the campaign: “Ever since the Yes vote in the Republic of Ireland, marriage equality has become a big political issue for many voters – straight and gay – in Northern Ireland. Last summer 20,000 people marched through Belfast demanding marriage equality, one of the biggest political demonstrations Northern Ireland has seen in years. Those people haven’t gone away. On 5 May they will be looking for candidates who promise to deliver equality for everyone.”
At the launch of this new campaign, there were also words from couples who want gay marriage in Northern Ireland. Sally Bridge and Catherine Couvert, who live in Belfast, were among those couples.
Sally had this to say: “We’ve been together for 15 years and raised two sons, two cats and a dog together! We’re very proud of our family. We want young LGBT people to grow up in a world where they don’t feel like second class citizens and we want families like ours to have equal rights.”
Another couple, Shane Sweeney and Eoin Griffin, were also in attendance.
Sweeney said: “I can’t refer to Eoin as my husband, I can’t refer to it as matrimony in any way and that to me feels like, you’re okay but not the same as others, there’s no parity of esteem, we’re not asking for special status we just want to be the same and treated the same as everyone else and I don’t think that’s an unreasonable thing to ask for.”
The campaigners definitely seem determined, as they have said they won’t stop until marriage equality is established in Northern Ireland. I’m sure they’re aware that they have their work cut out for them, let’s all wish them the best of luck.