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Mock same-sex marriage staged on steps of Stormont

By Claire Williamson

A mock same-sex marriage has been staged on the steps of Stormont.

Groups campaigning for marriage equality took to the steps of Parliament Buildings on Monday where Neal Rush and his partner Mark McLoughlin took part in the staged wedding.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where gay marriage is not legal and remains a divisive political issue and Monday's protest comes on the two-year anniversary of the referendum in the Republic which paved the way for same-sex marriage.

Sinn Fein MLA Eilisha McCallion said the demonstration showed a "growing demand" for marriage equality.

She said: "It is two years after the historic marriage equality referendum in the south but LGBT citizens in the north are still being denied the opportunity to marry the person they love.

"Today's demonstration shows once again that there is a growing demand across society to see marriage equality extended across the island.

“There can be no place in our society for homophobia, misogyny or discrimination of any form.

“Sinn Fein will continue to fight for marriage equality and for equal rights for all citizens across the north."

Last month DUP MLA Jim Wells claimed he and other MLAs would split from the DUP if it agrees to Sinn Fein's demand for gay marriage.

He said: "Peter will not marry Paul in Northern Ireland."

Read more: DUP faces split threat if party agrees to gay marriage demand by Sinn Fein

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