Words: Steve Brown
Sara Canning, the partner of murdered journalist Lyra McKee, is set to address marriage equality at a rally in Belfast.
Last month, Lyra was shot by the New IRA and sadly lost her life in Derry, Northern Ireland. Her funeral was attended by political party leaders including Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn and anti-LGBTQ DUP leader Arlene Foster.
The fact that Foster was attendance caused outrage as many questioned why the DUP leader – who is strictly opposed to same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland – would attend the funeral of an out, LGBTQ journalist.
But now, in memory of Lyra, Sara has joined the Love Equality campaign for a march on May 18 in Belfast calling for the Northern Irish Parliament to deliver marriage equality into legislation – like the rest of the UK.
Speaking about the march, Sara said: "Marriage equality is a cause to which Lyra and I were very committed. Lyra and I were supposed to be on a big trip to New York this week.
“We were going to get engaged. We talked about getting married in Donegal, but really we wanted our love and our marriage to be recognised in Northern Ireland, just the same as the rest of our family members and friends.
“But to date, politicians have stopped that happening here, despite the fact that most people support equal marriage.”
Sara then went on to demand if politicians in Stormont refuse to legislate marriage equality, Prime Minister Theresa May should push it through at Westminster.
“If the politicians won’t legislate for equal marriage at Stormont, then the Prime Minister should do it at Westminster. That’s what I told Theresa May at Lyra’s funeral,” Sara added.
“I wanted her to know that Lyra and I had a right to be treated as equal citizens in our own country. Surely that’s not too much to ask?
“Myself and lots of Lyra’s friends and family are going to be marching for marriage equality. We hope people will come and join us.”