The Rainbow Project is part of the Love Equality campaign- led by a consortium of organisations within Northern Ireland who are campaigning to for the introduction of legislation in Northern Ireland for equal civil marriage for same sex couples. Joining The Rainbow Project in this consortium is Amnesty International Northern Ireland, The Rainbow Project, Irish Congress of Trade Unions Northern Ireland, Here NI, Cara-Friend and NUS-USI.
The organisations involved in the Love Equality campaign have each been involved in the campaign for equal civil marriage for years. From 2012 – 2015 these organisations were involved in a range of campaigns including supporting four equal marriage motions which were brought before the Northern Ireland Assembly, and actively lobbying our local politicians.
Following the success of the Irish Marriage Equality Referendum in May 2015 The Rainbow Project, Amnesty International and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions came together to organise a rally to support the introduction of full marriage equality. On 13 June 2015 the rally for Equal Civil Marriage was held in Belfast City Centre with over 20,000 people taking part in the rally making one of the biggest political rallies in Northern Ireland in recent history.
From the success of the rally the coalition for Marriage Equality in Northern Ireland was formed and Cara-Friend, HERe NI and NUS-USI were invited to join the coalition. The coalition continued to organise campaign events including the BIG Fat Gay Wedding as part of Culture Night Belfast and further lobbying of elected representatives to legislate for change. In April 2016, ahead of the Northern Ireland Assembly election, the campaign was rebranded as Love Equality-the campaign for civil marriage equality in Northern Ireland.
Assembly Election 2016: Shout For Equality
On Thursday 5 May 2016 the people of Northern Ireland will go to the polls to elect 108 MLAs to the Northern Ireland Assembly.
At the last Assembly election in 2011 the turnout was only 54.7%. This means over 45% of the electorate did not vote- if they voted it could have made a significant difference to the outcome of the election.
#OUT2Vote is our campaign to encourage the LGBT community who are eligible to vote to ensure that they make their voice heard in the Assembly election. Following a successful voter registration campaign in collaboration with sector partners and commercial venues we are now asking the public to demand that their candidates pledge to #Shout4Equality for the LGBT community if elected. If you don’t vote you have no voice!
Together we can make a difference, so join our campaign and ensure you are #OUT2Vote on 5 May!
Why does it matter?
Ahead of the Assembly election, The Rainbow Project is urging all candidates to pledge to ‘Shout For Equality’ for the LGBT community if elected.
Right now, the Assembly is not effectively protecting the rights of LGBT people in Northern Ireland. From denial of equal civil marriage to a lack of measurable steps taken to improve the educational experiences of LGBT young people, we believe there is much more that our elected representatives must do to ensure equality for all our citizens.
Policy Priorities 2016 -2021
The Rainbow Project believes our newly elected MLAs should ensure the interests of the LGBT community are a focus for the new Assembly term, and accordingly should address the following six areas of concern in the next mandate as outlined in The Rainbow Project’s Policy Priorities 2016-2021
- Improve the educational experiences of LGB&T young people
- Investment in mental, physical and sexual health services for LGB&T people
- Publication of a Sexual Orientation Strategy & Action Plan
- Equality of opportunity for same sex couples who want to start a family
- Introduce legislation for equal civil marriage
- Legislate for state recognition of a person’s gender by self-declaration
As the Assembly election is fast approaching, we need YOUR help to ensure that our candidates are aware of the need to represent LGBT people in the next term of the Assembly. Help to encourage our MLAs to #Shout4Equality for the LGBT community over the next five years by taking action today.
- Download our Shout4Equality Megaphone and take a selfie! Have it to hand to ask your candidates to pose with it also in your local area.
- Download and print our Policy Priorities 2016-2021 to share with your candidates. Question them on your doorstep or at a local hustings event on what they will do to #Shout4Equality for LGBT people if elected. Don’t let them get away with paying lip service!
- Write to/email all candidates in your constituency to ask them to pledge to Shout For Equality.
1. Click to download a #Shout4Equality template letter
2. To find out what constituency you live in visit www.theyworkforyou.com/ni
3. Download our List of candidates by constituency to find the emails of candidates standing in your area who you can contact. Don’t forget to BCC when sending out in bulk!
- Tweet your candidates to ask them to pledge to #Shout4Equality. You can the Twitter handles of candidates standing in your area by clicking here Sample Tweet: @candidate will you pledge to #Shout4Equality for LGBT people if elected to NI Assembly? @TRPNI #AE16
Who supports our campaign?
We have written to every Assembly candidate and asked them to pledge to Shout For Equality for LGBT people in Northern Ireland. Find out who has pledged to #Shout4Equality by clicking here
Want to know what the political parties say about LGBT issues in their Assembly election 2016 manifestos? Click here