'˜Politicians must legislate for marriage equality'

Lagan Valley MLA Pat Catney has said politicians here must legislate for marriage equality.

Pat Catney MLA
Pat Catney MLA

His comments came after a High Court judge dismissed two cases challenging Northern Ireland’s ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that social policy is a matter for the NI Assembly.

The SDLP man said the judgment “demands a response from legislators to do their jobs and make equality law.”

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“Ours is now the only small corner of these islands where we maintain a hierarchy of love. We are increasingly isolated here and across Europe as a place where the commitment and compassion of a same-sex couple is not recognised or reflected in our law,” Mr Catney said.

“This ruling reinforces the fact that a failure of politics is to blame for the inequity and inequality that loving couples here face.

“Over the course of the last number of days and weeks, political leaders have once again caused hurt and harm to LGBT people here. That must come to an end. The LGBT community is not a punching bag to be hit again and again,” he added.