Belfast Telegraph

Poll: Do you support Theresa May's call for same-sex marriage allowed in Northern Ireland?

By Cate McCurry

Prime Minister Theresa May has publicly backed the introduction of gay marriage in Northern Ireland.

The Conservative leader said that the LGBT community in the province should have the same rights as people across the UK.

It is currently the only region within the UK where same sex marriage is banned.

Writing for PinkNews - a gay rights website - Mrs May stated she wanted all "British citizens to enjoy the fullest freedoms and protections. That includes equal marriage - because marriage should be for everyone, regardless of their sexuality," she said.

"While that is a matter for the devolved government of Northern Ireland, I will continue to make my position clear - that LGBT people in Northern Ireland should have the same rights as people across the rest of the UK."

Her comments come weeks after the Tories formed a minority government with the DUP's support. The DUP has used the petition of concern voting mechanism at the Stormont Assembly to prevent a law change, despite a majority of MLAs supporting the move at the last vote.

Mrs May added that she will continue to push for LGBT rights, and acknowledged that her party and the DUP differed on the issue.

"My vision is of a world, at home and abroad, where there is no discrimination on the grounds of sexuality or gender identity," she said.

"We don't agree with them on their approach to same-sex marriage, and I'm very clear that the Conservative Party in government doesn't agree with the DUP on those issues on LGBT rights.

"We will continue to push forward, to enhance LGBT rights and we're pleased what we've been able to do so far, and we want to do more. That won't be changed by our relationship with the DUP, which of course isn't a formal coalition.

"What I think is important is, if you look back on what happened after the election, we were the only party who could form a government."

The DUP's Gregory Campbell said equal marriage was a devolved matter and that the PM's view on it "was not a concern".

The MP for East Londonderry said: "She's entitled to her opinion as are others and I'm sure there will be people who disagree with her and some who agree with her.

"It's not that often that leaders of national parliaments speak out on moral issues but they are entitled to do it including Angela Merkel who said that marriage is between a man and a woman and I agree with that view.

"I'm sure I won't change Theresa May's opinion and she certainly won't change mine."

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