Belfast Telegraph

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20,000 sign petition to legalise gay marriage in Northern Ireland

By Ann W Schmidt

Published 20/09/2016

Belfast Pride Festival 2016: Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Belfast Pride Festival 2016: Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th August 2016 Belfast Pride Festival 2016 Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th August 2016 Belfast Pride Festival 2016 Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th August 2016 Belfast Pride Festival 2016 Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th August 2016 Belfast Pride Festival 2016 Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th August 2016 Belfast Pride Festival 2016 Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th August 2016 Belfast Pride Festival 2016 Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th August 2016 Belfast Pride Festival 2016 Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th August 2016 Belfast Pride Festival 2016 Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-08-2016: Belfast Pride Festival 2016. Belfast awash with rainbow colours as the annual LGBT festival returns. Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th August 2016 Belfast Pride Festival 2016 Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th August 2016 Belfast Pride Festival 2016 Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Belfast Pride 2016: Thousands of people take part in the annual Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Belfast Pride 2016: Thousands of people take part in the annual Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Belfast Pride 2016: Thousands of people take part in the annual Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Belfast Pride 2016: Thousands of people take part in the annual Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Belfast Pride 2016: Thousands of people take part in the annual Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Belfast Pride 2016: Thousands of people take part in the annual Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Belfast Pride 2016: Thousands of people take part in the annual Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Belfast Pride 2016: Thousands of people take part in the annual Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

More than 20,000 people have signed a petition being handed in to Stormont today calling for same-sex marriage to be legalised in Northern Ireland.

It is also protesting against the use of the Petition of Concern by the DUP - effectively a veto - to stop a majority vote by MLAs in favour of gay marriage being passed.

Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell said: "By ignoring the majority will and blocking the right of LGBT couples to marry, the DUP is subverting democracy. The time has come for the DUP to end its four decades of opposition to LGBT equality."

But a DUP spokesman said the party supports the current definition of marriage: "This position has been outlined on every occasion the issue has been debated in the Assembly and was contained within the party's manifesto for the 2016 Assembly election."

Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of participants and supporters take part in the 25th annual Belfast Pride parade on August 1, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Thousands of participants and supporters take part in the 25th annual Belfast Pride parade on August 1, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Thousands of participants and supporters take part in the 25th annual Belfast Pride parade on August 1, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Thousands of participants and supporters take part in the 25th annual Belfast Pride parade on August 1, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Thousands of participants and supporters take part in the 25th annual Belfast Pride parade on August 1, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Thousands of participants and supporters take part in the 25th annual Belfast Pride parade on August 1, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Thousands of participants and supporters take part in the 25th annual Belfast Pride parade on August 1, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Thousands of participants and supporters take part in the 25th annual Belfast Pride parade on August 1, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Thousands of participants and supporters take part in the 25th annual Belfast Pride parade on August 1, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Thousands of participants and supporters take part in the 25th annual Belfast Pride parade on August 1, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Thousands of participants and supporters take part in the 25th annual Belfast Pride parade on August 1, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Pride party in the square at the Custom house square in Belfast. Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Pride party in the square at the Custom house square in Belfast. Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people take part in the annual Belfast Gay Pride event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Justice Minister David Ford showing his support for the LGBT community at Belfast's Pride Festival with Roisin Lavery, Equality Commission and Sean O'Neill, Festival organiser. Picture: Michael Cooper

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