The overwhelming support for a ‘Yes’ vote in the recent referendum on civil marriage equality in the Republic of Ireland means that Northern Ireland is the only region in these islands where same sex marriage is not recognised.
The Workers Party will be supporting Saturday’s rally (June 13) in support of Civil Marriage Equality but does not believe that a referendum is the answer in Northern Ireland. Firstly the outcome of a referendum would not be legally binding, the Assembly has the power to introduce the relaxant legislation but given its recent record that is highly unlikely.
A Petition of Concern would almost certainly be used to block legislation. Given those circumstances only a legal challenge will end the unlawful discrimination which sees a same sex couple married in one part of the UK but that marriage not recognised in Northern Ireland.
The recent Yes vote in the Republic’s referendum marked a sea change in people’s attitudes and opinions and a thirst for further social change. That social revolution and the desire for change is also increasingly evident in Northern Ireland.
However, the attitudes of the main political parties in Northern Ireland are fundamentalist, conservative and out of touch. Saturday will be an important day in demonstrating just how out of touch they are.