What is the reality of being LBGT in Northern Ireland? (Article Sample)
What is the reality of being LBGT in Northern Ireland?
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Northern Ireland for over a year now. What impact has it had on the lives of LGBT people in Northern Ireland?
Robyn Peoples, 26, and Sharni Edwards, 27, did not set out to make history, they fell in love. They had been a couple for over six years when they were booking a civil partnership ceremony. Consequently, after the law changed to legalise same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland; they changed the service to a wedding.
There are examples of progression in the media. On the other hand, there are clear examples. On the other hand, there are clear examples of discrimination in the LBGT community. One of many being the murder of Lyra McKee on 18 April 2019 in Derry. The journalist’s partner Sara Canning said to The Guardian she decided to do something worthwhile with her anger.
“After Lyra’s murder, I had anger. It was just eating me. When I had that opportunity to speak to Theresa May at Lyra’s funeral, I pleaded with her to legislate for marriage equality on our behalf. She said nothing solid in response, but at least I was talking about something changeable.”
Northern Ireland woke up to the news that same-sex marriage and abortion had decriminalised on 22 October 2019. Then months later, on 7 April, Northern Ireland court rules stated that the ban on same-sex marriage was “unjustified discrimination.”
Nine months after Lyra’s death, same-sex marriage became legal in Northern Ireland on 13 January 2020.
There are problems
“Conversion therapy is legal. Northern Ireland was the last part of the United Kingdom and Ireland to legalise the same-sex sexual activity,” Sarah Jean, a gay woman from Carryduff, says. “It was the last to end a lifetime ban on blood donations by men who have gay sex. LBGT discrimination is a big issue in Northern Ireland.”
The National Statistics sexual orientation report for 2018 said 1.2% of the population of Northern Ireland identifies themselves as LGBT. The United Kingdom’s average in 2018 was 2.2%. Legal unions for same-sex couples have only become available recently.
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