Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.48 17 May 2019


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The partner of murdered journalist Lyra McKee, who was shot dead in Derry last month, has called for the British government to extend same-sex marriage legislation to Northern Ireland.

Sara Canning was speaking ahead of a march for marriage equality to be held in Belfast on Saturday.

She is due to address the rally at Belfast City Hall.

Ms Canning said: "Lyra and I wanted to get married, surrounded by our families and friends, because we shared a love which meant we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.

"But, as things stand, the law in Northern Ireland says that the love that Lyra and I shared is not equal.

"It is unbelievable, and simply unacceptable, that in 2019, this discrimination is allowed to continue in any part of the UK or Ireland.

"With Stormont out of action for almost the last two and a half years, we need the UK government to step in.

"That's what I told Theresa May at Lyra's funeral and that's what I will be saying at the march for marriage equality in Belfast.

"I hope the [British] Prime Minister is listening."

She added: "Couples like Lyra and I should not have to wait a day longer for the law to recognise us as equals."

Organisers say they expect thousands to join the march for marriage equality this Saturday, which will begin in the Belfast's Writers' Square at 1.00pm - ahead of a rally at Belfast City Hall.

Patrick Corrigan is a member of the Love Equality campaign, which is organising the march.

He said: "Stormont has proved incapable of delivering marriage equality for the LGBT community, despite massive support among the Northern Ireland public for a law change.

"The UK government likes to champion its record on LGBT rights, but has shamefully ignored cross party calls for progress on same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

"We are calling on people, who want a different and fairer Northern Ireland than politicians have so far allowed, to join us on the streets of Belfast this Saturday.

"We are making a demand for equal rights for all, a demand which must be heard in the corridors of Stormont and Westminster."

Northern Ireland is the only region of the UK where gay marriage is not legally recognised.

Talks to restore institutions there have previously broken down over issues such as the Irish language and marriage equality.


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Belfast British Government Derry Gay Marriage Lyra McKee Marriage Equality Northern Ireland Rally Same-sex Marriage Sara Canning Theresa May

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