Belfast Telegraph

Nesbitt slams outdated politicians on same-sex marriage and abortion

By Aaron Tinney

Jimmy Nesbitt has called for the legalisation of same-sex marriage and more abortion rights in Northern Ireland in a furious tirade against our feuding politicians.

The actor said he found it "frustrating" and "extraordinary" gay marriage was still illegal here - as "no one cares" about the issue.

He added that restricting abortion rights for women here was a corrupt use of democracy to judge citizens and strip them of human rights.

Nesbitt also accused politicians of being mired in a "traditional" past and branded the Stormont power-sharing stalemate a wasted opportunity to improve the lives of people in Northern Ireland.

Father-of-two Nesbitt hit out at the DUP's hardline stance against gay marriage and abortion, adding: "I understand people have a sort of in-built resistance to things like that.

"But change is inevitable and it is important for us to get behind something we don't necessarily agree with.

"Truthfully, I think we are the only place in western Europe where gay marriage and abortion is illegal and I find it extraordinary - I mean, who cares?"

Ireland is listed as the only place in Europe with 'strict conditions' on abortion, and it is only allowed if a woman's life is at risk.

Fatal foetal abnormalities, rape and incest are not circumstances in which abortions can be performed legally.

The restriction has led to around 6,000 women a year going to Britain from the north and south of Ireland to terminate pregnancies, or to rely on potentially deadly abortion pills bought online.

Northern Ireland is the only remaining part of the UK where same-sex marriage is not legal after the DUP used a controversial Stormont veto mechanism to block any change to legislation.

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