Northern Ireland’s ban on gay marriage is as unjust and un-Christian as the historical sectarian taboo over Catholics and Protestants marrying, an Anglican minister has told an equality rally in Belfast attended by thousands.
Canon Charles Kenny, who has been a Church of Ireland priest for almost 50 years, compared the opposition to same-sex marriage in the region to the historical hostility to mixed religious unions on the island of Ireland.
Kenny was joined by Methodist and Presbyterian ministers in calling for gay marriage to be legalised. The Democratic Unionist party, which now formally supports Theresa May’s minority government, has consistently blocked moves towards marital equality.
Speaking on the steps of St Anne’s, the city’s Anglican cathedral, on Saturday – surrounded by gay rights campaigners, trade unionists and human rights organisations – Kenny said: “There was lots of lobbying against mixed religious marriages and nowadays we are all embarrassed about that. And I think in the future we will also be embarrassed about this ban on same sex marriage.