Saturday, 13 June 2015

March for Equality

Today the sun shone on least I assume it did from the pictures I have seen and the fact that it shone in Bangor where I was.

"Why is this significant?" you may ask. Well seeing as today thousands took part in a march for equality, seeking to bring about marriage equality in the only part of the United Kingdom, and indeed now the only small part of the island of Ireland that does not recognise same-sex marriages. So the fact that it stayed dry meant that some politicians meteorology skills are little off, despite some of them claiming that last year's soggy Belfast Pride proved the opposite.

The march was organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Amnesty International and the Rainbow Project. The age ranged from school children to pensioners. They were lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight, Catholic and Protestant or neither. The Belfast Telegraph says that 20,000 took to the streets

One of the platform speakers Northern Irish novelist Glenn Patterson said:

"We will never forsake the blue skies of Ulster for the red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet skies of the Irish Republic.
"We are going to bring them here."
So the message is that while the Presbyterian Church in Ireland boycotts the Church of Scotland for it acceptance of gay ministers and deacons in same-sex marriages, and the unionist parties continue to ignore legal UK marriages in the name of pick 'n' mix unionism, the people will continue to march, to shout out for equality and the same recognition that their fellow British or Irish citizens have.

Just as Gays and Lesbians Support the Miners 30 years ago lead to the coal unions walking at the front of London Pride, now the Unions are standing up for LGBT+ rights. While it is a shame that commercialism means that the 30th anniversary of that coming together will be in the middle not front of London Pride I have to thank the Trade Unions here in standing with the LGBT+ community here.

I was not able to be there, sadly being a gay sportsman in a summer team sport I was otherwise engaged in playing for my team in the second division of our league in a tough match against the leaders. As it came down to a handful of shots to determine who would take the three match points on top of the two each of us got for our winning rinks I'm sure my gay card won't be rescinded.

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