Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has welcomed the result of the marriage referendum in the Republic of Ireland and has called for these same rights for gay people to be extended to the North.
The North Antrim MLA was one of the sponsors of a recent debate in the Assembly on the issue.
“The North now sticks out like a sore thumb as the only part of these islands, indeed the only part of far Western Europe that does not permit marriage equality,” he said.
“That does not present a welcoming image to gay people at home or abroad. I do not see the sense in not giving gay couples the freedom to marry in Ballymena or Ballycastle in their own communities and with their own families when they have the right to do so in Dundalk and Donegal.
“Regardless of referendums however gay people should have the same rights as anybody else.
“I am the only local North Antrim MLA to support marriage equality but I do think that the result at the weekend shows that public opinion in Ireland, north and south, is ahead of where many politicians are at,” he concluded.