An estimated 20,000 people joined a
Belfast rally on Saturday in support of marriage equality in Northern
Demonstrators marched from Ulster
University to City Hall, where they listened to speeches.
After Ireland last month became the
first nation to legalize such unions through a referendum, Northern
Ireland became the last country in western Europe where gay couples
cannot legally marry.
“In 2005, history was made when
Northern Ireland became the first place in the UK to hold a civil
partnership,” the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) said. “Ten
years later, with every other part of these islands recognizing
marriage equality, citizens in Northern Ireland have effectively been
Amnesty International, another
organizer, said the province was now the “last bastion of
discrimination against gay people in these islands.”
Many politicians and local celebrities
attended the rally, including Gary Lightbody, lead singer of Snow
Patrol, and actress Bronagh Gallagher.