Ruth Davidson calls for marriage equality in Northern Ireland

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson will make a keynote speech in Belfast today calling for Northern Ireland to introduce gay marriage.

Ms Davidson will give a lecture as part of Belfast’s Pride celebrations and call on the country to follow Scotland’s example.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the British Isles where same-sex marriage remains illegal.

The openly gay politician said she was “honoured” to have been invited to Belfast to give the Amnesty Pride lecture.

“As a practising Christian, a protestant and a unionist who is engaged to a Catholic Irishwoman, for me, equal marriage isn’t about one religion, country or community,” she said.

“It is about people in Northern Ireland being afforded the same rights as everybody else.

“Scotland is a better place today because of equal marriage and I want to take that positive message from our experiences here to Belfast and beyond.”

Last year, Ms Davidson was involved in the successful campaign for equal marriage to be introduced in the Republic of Ireland.

However, Northern Ireland’s devolved Stormont Assembly has repeatedly refused to legislate on the contentious issue.

Those opposed to gay marriage argue that same-sex couples already have the ability to enter into civil partnerships and claim there is no need for further change.

The matter is also being contested through the courts where two same-sex couples have challenged the current law under human rights legislation.

Ruth Davidson with partner Jen Wilson
Ruth Davidson with partner Jen Wilson
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