Barnardo’s NI is throwing its support behind the campaign for civil marriage equality in Northern Ireland. It is the first children’s charity in Northern Ireland to publicly voice its support.

“Our support for same-sex couples to marry reflects Barnardo’s core belief that every person is different but equal and everyone’s unique worth should be recognised.”

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Barnardo’s NI is throwing its support behind the campaign for civil marriage equality in Northern Ireland. It is the first children’s charity in Northern Ireland to publicly voice its support.

Barnardo’s is making the announcement to coincide with Belfast Pride’s Coming Out for Change Campaign.

As a UK-wide organisation Barnardo’s has in the past supported marriage equality campaigns in other areas of the UK and in the Republic of Ireland.

Director Barnardo’s NI Lynda Wilson said, “We work with many children, young people and families who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Many of our workforce and volunteers as a reflection of society also identify as LGBTQ and we do not discriminate.”

“We are committed to providing equality of opportunity and believe marriage equality is an extension of that. As a children’s charity we want the children and families we support as well as our staff and volunteers to know that we will stand up for them and support them.  We believe marriage equality should be a right for all regardless of sexual orientation.”

“Our support for same sex couples to marry reflects Barnardo’s core belief that every person is different but equal and everyone’s unique worth should be recognised. We work and live in a diverse and multi-cultural environment which Barnardo’s embraces and promotes.”

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“Marriage equality legislation has been passed in the rest of the UK, the Republic of Ireland, across western Europe, the USA and Australia and we hope that Northern Ireland will soon follow, giving same sex couples the right and freedom to marry if they so wish.”

Marriage and Northern Ireland

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Gay marriage continues to be a contentious issue in Northern Ireland for its politicians, particularly the DUP. Despite same-sex marriage being legal in England, Wales and Scotland, Northern Ireland is the only nation within the UK that doesn’t allow its gay and lesbian couples to get married. Instead, gay couples are only permitted to have Civil Partnerships, which are legally different to marriages.

The subject of same-sex marriage has been voted on five times by the Northern Ireland Assembly. Each time it was blocked by the DUP.