Marriage equality is a reality in England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland. It has been fought for and won with blood, sweat, and tears in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium and even in South Africa and in the Pitcairn Islands. But not in Northern Ireland.
The same country that produced awesome bands like Snow Patrol and The Undertones and great actors like Liam Neeson and Kenneth Branagh. Game of Thrones is filmed here, as is The Fall. Great women like former Irish President Mary McAleese hail from here. So have authors such as C.S. Lewis, sportsmen like George Best and Rory McIlroy, but you know what we don't have?
Same sex couples are still not equal under the law in my country and I can not get married in my own city. I can do that in Dublin, Glasgow, or London...but not in Belfast.
We have a choice. There's an election coming up for our local devolved parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly. It, and the 108 MLAs elected to it, have the sole authority over the marriage laws here. So far any attempt, no matter how small, to bring the matter to the floor has been defeated no less than five times.
We need to make a choice. We can continue sniping from the sidelines and hoping for change or we can get involved and make that change happen.
We can't do that without you and you can't do that without us. We're a team, all of us, and on May 5th we have the chance to make history and elect Pro-LGBT+ candidates who will stand up for our rights.
History is made by those that show up. Don't be left out of the story.
Not only is Stephen a venerable member of our team, he is also the Founder and Press Officer of Love Proudly, an organization fighting to get pro-LGBT+, parliament candidates elected to the NI Assembly. Show your support for Love Proudly by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter! And to all our Norther Ireland friends...VOTE MAY 5TH!
Editor's Note: The views and opinions expressed on our Artist Corner and Blog are exclusively of the author and do not reflect the views and opinions of Punk Out as an organization.
The International Lesbian and Gay Association recently published their Rainbow Europe 2016 report, which provides an highlevel ranking of European nations in regards to their acceptance and accomidations for their LGBT+ populations. Stephen Donnan takes a look at the findings and explains why we must not take solace in meer rankings.
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Northern Ireland is home to some of the best bands, artists, actors, and humanitarians the world has to offer. But for all the great that Northern Ireland has to offer, the state can not boast Marriage Equality as the law of the land. It is time to #VoteProudlyNI. Bring Marriage Equality to Northern Ireland!
Today on our blog, we introduce a new series called, Punk Out Europa. Focusing on LGBT+ issues in European countries and breakaway states, Punk Out Europa will cover topics ranging from pride parades to marriage equality and LGBT+ political issues in Europe. Check out Punk Out team member, and Belfast native, Stephen Donnan's first piece on Transnistria.
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