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Gay pardon is a step in right direction for NI

Published 15/11/2016

I welcome the Justice Minister's announcement that pardons given to people convicted of now-abolished homosexual offences in England and Wales could be extended to Northern Ireland. This is a small step towards correcting a shameful wrong in our history.

People from the LGBTQ community in NI are still widely discriminated against. Despite this, there has still never been legislation passed through this Assembly that aims to tackle this discrimination. Any previous attempts have been either voted down or blocked using the petition of concern mechanism.

Any progress towards LGBTQ equality in NI has been brought about by the Westminster Government, or through the courts.

The Green Party in Northern Ireland is, therefore, working with other parties across the political spectrum to bring through a Private Member's Bill to bring marriage equality to Northern Ireland - a right enjoyed by couples across the rest of these islands.

Passing our Private Member's Bill would bring to an end this historic freeze on LGBTQ equality legislation in our Assembly.

ANTHONY FLYNN

Chair, Green Party in NI LGBTQ

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