LGBT people want to be able to marry the person they love

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With the equal marriage referendum result in the Republic it is now time to look at what rights people in Northern Ireland are afforded as enshrined in the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

Firstly as we are allowed to identify as British or Irish or both the impact of the decision by 62 per cent of the people in the Republic does, as similar legislation in Scotland, England and Wales before it, impact on how the majority of the people chose to identify here.

Also Section 75 and Schedule 9 to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 placed a statutory obligation on public authorities in carrying out their various functions relating to Northern Ireland, to have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity.

This includes between people of different religious belief, political opinion, racial group, age, marital status or sexual orientation. Northern Ireland is already failing to recognise the marital status of all marriages carried out in the UK, by only allowing those who have had a same sex marriage to be recognised as civil partners.

On Saturday night after the result of the referendum and Eurovision there were LGBT people who identify as British or Irish or both out and about on and near Union Street all delighted with the result. But we need all our politicians whether they be Unionist, Nationalist or Other to uphold their statutory obligations.

There are different political beliefs and religious beliefs into whether same-sex couples should enjoy the ability to marry. Though if you were to look at the voting record and speeches made in Stormont you would not believe it.

But now the British LGBT, Irish LGBT or Bothness LGBT here are calling out to have the same equality of opportunity as anyone else who hold their passport or passports. The law to allow them to marry the person they love.

Stephen Glenn, Executive Committee LGBT+ Liberal Democrats