Belfast Telegraph

Liam Neeson leads NI same-sex marriage calls

By David Young, PA

Liam Neeson, Stephen Fry and Graham Norton have called for the introduction of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland ahead of a planned demonstration.

Snow Patrol singer Gary Lightbody and Fall star Bronagh Waugh have also added their voices to the campaign.

Saturday's parade in Belfast city centre comes amid an ongoing political dispute on the ban on same-sex marriage.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK and Ireland where same-sex marriage remains outlawed.

The issue is one of the logjams in the ongoing negotiations to restore power-sharing at Stormont.

Amnesty International, which is one of the leading members of the Love Equality coalition organising the march, released statements from the celebrity backers.

"We've had enough of a history in our society in Northern Ireland of discrimination, mistrust and hatred," said Ulsterman Neeson. "Yet, we're also an open-hearted, welcoming and terrific people.

"Let us show that to the world by treating gay, lesbian and transgender peoples as our brothers and sisters and allowing them to marry, if they so wish.

"By joining the rest of Ireland and other western countries in celebrating equality we can also attract more investment to our province.

"We must act on this and welcome all members of society through civil marriages, while still keeping our Christian values. Love, is love, is love."

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