Northern Ireland

Same-sex marriage petition signed by 20,000 people

The online petition was presented to the Stormont Assembly speaker
Image caption The online petition was presented to the Stormont Assembly speaker by People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll on Tuesday

A petition with more than 20,000 signatures calling for the legalisation of same sex marriage in Northern Ireland has been presented to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The online petition, collated by LGBT news service The Gay Say, was handed to speaker Robin Newton by People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll on Tuesday.

A majority of Northern Ireland Assembly members voted in favour of a motion to legalise same-sex marriage in November last year.

However, it was defeated by the DUP.

The party used the petition of concern mechanism to effectively veto a change in the law.

It was the fifth time attempts to legalise same-sex marriage have been defeated in the Assembly.

Mr Carroll said the public was "growing increasingly frustrated by the ongoing failure to deliver equal civil rights for same-sex couples".

"Following the repeated failure of the Assembly to legislate for marriage equality, we decided that it was time for action," he said.

"While presenting this petition today, I would say to the DUP that you are on the wrong side of history. You are on the wrong side of the fight for equality.

"History will not be kind to those that block progress and human rights."

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