Clare Bailey MLA

Clare Bailey to marriage equality litigation couples – “The Assembly has failed you, I hope the Courts will not”

Wednesday 12 September 2018

Clare Bailey MLA attended the Court of Appeal to show her support for the two couples Grainne Close, her partner Shannon Sickles, and Chris and Henry Flanagan-Kane who are taking legal action in a bid to have the same sex marriage ban lifted.

In August 2017, both couples lost their landmark legal challenge to Northern Ireland’s ban on same-sex marriage after a High Court judge dismissed their discrimination case after ruling that the prohibition remains a matter for the Stormont administration.

Clare said: ‘I want to pay tribute to these two very brave couples. They are taking this case not only for themselves and their families but for all same sex couples who are discriminated against in Northern Ireland.

“The Assembly has failed you, I hope the Courts will not.

“In July 2015 Ipsos MORI carried out a survey on attitudes towards same sex marriage in Northern Ireland, during the lead up and in the aftermath of the same sex marriage Referendum in the Republic of Ireland. The poll found that two thirds (68%) of adults in Northern Ireland agree that homosexual couples should be allowed to marry.

“In November 2015, a majority of MLAs in the Assembly voted to support equal marriage, but the measure was blocked by the DUP using a Petition of Concern, a voting mechanism designed to protect the rights of minorities in Northern Ireland.

Clare concluded: “The rights of the LGBTQ community must no longer be held to ransom by a minority view that same sex marriage somehow damages the institution of marriage. I believe it strengthens the institution and reflects the diversity of our families, communities and society.”

ENDS

Media contact

Sinead McIvor – 07701 302 498

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