The organisations involved in the Love Equality campaign have each been involved in the campaign for equal civil marriage for years. From 2012 – 2015 these organisations were involved in a range of campaigns including supporting four equal marriage motions which were brought before the Northern Ireland Assembly, and actively lobbying our local politicians.
Following the success of the Irish Marriage Equality Referendum in May 2015 The Rainbow Project, Amnesty International and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions came together to organise a rally to support the introduction of full marriage equality. On 13 June 2015 the rally for Equal Civil Marriage was held in Belfast City Centre with over 20,000 people taking part in the rally making one of the biggest political rallies in Northern Ireland in recent history.
From the success of the rally the coalition for Marriage Equality in Northern Ireland was formed and Cara-Friend, HERe NI and NUS-USI were invited to join the coalition. The coalition continued to organise campaign events including the BIG Fat Gay Wedding as part of Culture Night Belfast and further lobbying of elected representatives to legislate for change. In April 2016, ahead of the Northern Ireland Assembly election, the campaign was rebranded as Love Equality- Campaign for Civil Marriage Equality in Northern Ireland.