20000 of Northern Irish people want equality

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BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 13: Thousands of people take part in a march and rally calling for legislation for same-sex marriage on June 13, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The March for Civil Marriage Equality demonstration was organised jointly by Amnesty International, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and The Rainbow Project. Following the Yes vote in last month's Irish referendum, Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK or Ireland where the right to civil marriage is denied to gay couples. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

This is a number of people who have signed a petition aimed to legalise same-sex marriages in Northern Ireland. The petition – organised by the Belfast-based LGBT news group The Gay Say – will be submitted by People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll. The petition protests against the use of the petition of concern by the DUP to stop a majority vote by MLAs in favour of same-sex marriage being passed. The Northern Irish Assembly backed equal marriage by a vote of 53 to 51 last year – but the DUP used the peace process powers to override the democratic process and block equality for a fifth time. And despite clear opposition, the party has promised to “stand by its commitment to family values and marriage”.

The party’s spokesman said: “This position has been outlined on every occasion the issue has been debated in the Assembly and was contained within the party’s manifesto for the 2016 Assembly election.” But one of the petition organizers claimed that even pro-LGBT activists are losing patience. “By ignoring the majority will and blocking the right of LGBT couples to marry, the DUP is subverting democracy. The time has come for the DUP to end its four decades of opposition to LGBT equality.”

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