Panti Bliss, otherwise known as Rory O’Neill, was a high profile campaigner for gay marriage in the run up to the Republic’s historic referendum on the subject last month.
Speaking ahead of a major march in support of marriage equality in Belfast on Saturday, she urged politicians here to respond to the ground swell of support for a change in legislation in Northern Ireland.
“The joy that was felt across the country at the referendum result in the South was an unforgettable experience,” she said.
“That is a joy that I want people in Northern Ireland to share.
“You know, it’s a great feeling to re-invent your country as a place where everyone is equal – everyone should try it.”
She continued: “The tide of history is on the side of same-sex marriage and Northern Ireland can’t resist that tide of history.
“It seems clear that most people in Northern Ireland, just like people in the Republic, in England, Scotland and Wales, already support the introduction of same-sex marriage.
“Now the people are just waiting for their politicians to catch up.
“When those people in Northern Ireland who are still unsure about the idea see that the introduction of gay marriage didn’t destroy society in Scotland or wherever, then I think they will be much more comfortable with it.
“Especially, when they see that, this is about civil marriage, so it doesn’t threaten any religion or church or how they go about their business.”
The march for civil marriage equality, organised by Amnesty International, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Rainbow Project, takes place next Saturday starting at the University of Ulster’s Belfast campus and making its way to Belfast City Hall.
Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland Programme Director, said: “Saturday’s march will be a great family day out with very positive message – everyone in this society should be treated equally.
“We don’t want Northern Ireland to be the only part of the UK or Ireland where the right to civil marriage is denied to same sex couples.
“There is no objective justification for denying access to civil marriage to same sex couples.
“Allowing lesbian and gay people to get married has no detrimental effect on anyone else’s marriage.
“It’s now up to the Northern Ireland Assembly to correct that inequality.”
Belfast City Council voted in favour of legalising gay marriage in Northern Ireland by 38 to 13 last week.
The motion was proposed by the Alliance Party’s Emmet McDonough-Brown after the Republic voted to adapt its constitution to allow same-sex marriage.
Source: Belfast Live http://www.belfastlive.co.uk/news/belfast-news/drag-queen-panti-bliss-gives-9407040