Parties should embrace equality over division, that’s the view of Lagan Valley MLA Pat Catney as he joined Equal Marriage activists for a march through Belfast.
Mr Catney said that the institution of marriage can only be strengthened through inclusion.
He said: “I have been happily married to my beautiful wife for over 30 years. It has been the greatest privilege of my life to have the opportunity to share it with such an amazing, loving and constant companion. And I view it as a privilege. Because sadly, too many people living in this place aren’t afforded that opportunity. Too many loving partners are denied the recognition that the love they share is as equal as any other. No more.
“I’m proud to join the march for marriage equality. Because marriage is important. Far from diminishing the strength of my own partnership, I believe that broadening the institution strengthens it and gives it an even more solid foundation in the society we are attempting to shape.
“In a historic week, we should look to the German example. Where Marriage Equality has just been passed in spite of Angela Merkel’s personal opposition to it. The politics of veto has had its day.
“If parties are committed to forging an inclusive Executive they must seriously reflect on how we treat our citizens. The SDLP remains committed to equality for the LGBT community and all communities. It threatens no one to join us.”