A year ago today the first same sex marriage took place in the Republic of Ireland when Cormac Gollogly and Richard Dowling married in Clonmel, Count Tipperary. Since then same-sex couples in the Republic Of Ireland have been able to have their love, commitment and respect for each other enshrined in law by way of marriage, granted to them by the people of Ireland by way of a referendum that not only altered the Irish Constitution but the fabric of society was opened up to same-sex couples like never before. A new era of equality and inclusiveness, welcomed all around the globe, was seen as an historic moment for the Republic of Ireland and these islands.
The Love Equality campaign is still fighting for the rights of same-sex couples in Northern Ireland who wish to dedicate their lives to each other in the form of marriage. That right is currently denied to them yet their counterparts in England, Scotland, Wales, the Republic of Ireland and places as far away as New Zealand and South Africa enjoy those freedoms. We believe that opening up marriage to same-sex couples is a good thing, and with public support overwhelmingly in favour of changing the law to reflect that we are confident that we are on the right side of history.
It is disappointing that same-sex couples in Northern Ireland are still being denied that fundamental freedom and many have indeed taken to crossing the border into the Republic of Ireland to marry. This inconsistency in law must be changed before long to ensure that the dignity and affirmation afforded to same-sex couples in the rest of the United Kingdom is extended to those living in Northern Ireland.