Theresa May discusses Northern Ireland abortion laws with Tory MPs

A group of Conservative MPs are believed to be following Equalities Minister Penny Mordaunt in calling for Westminster to take the decision

"People shouldn't be surprised that people vote on different reasons and all I am saying is that since the referendum in the Republic I have received a large number, and I mean a large number, of emails and letters from people living in Northern Ireland who say they are republicans, say they are nationalists, and who say they will not be voting that way in the future".

JOE spoke to Sinn Féin politician and Former Belfast Lord Mayor Niall Ó Donnghaile who was at the rally on Saturday.

Potter-Hughes believes that many have lost hope in the idea that the Stormont government will be effect legislative change in the near future: "For Love Equality, it has become increasingly important that Westminster step up to the plate and take a leading role in making sure Northern Ireland isn't left behind the rest of the United Kingdom and that we have the same rights and entitlements as other citizens that live within the United Kingdom".

"Today was another inclusive and colourful expression of people's desire to see the same rights afforded to people across the rest of Ireland delivered here", Ó Donnghaile began.

"With no functioning assembly, Theresa May must act". Speaking to The University Times, NUS-USI LGBT+ officer Conor Loughran said: "As it now stands there's no possibility of any legislation on marriage equality coming through the executive in Stormont".

The march aims to highlight the situation in Northern Ireland and place pressure on Stormont and Westminster to extend marriage equality to citizens in the North.

"I would just suggest to Arlene Foster that criticising people for feeling that is a powerful statement of equality and liberation isn't the best way forward if she wants to somebody who is seen to be listening to her community".

"This will not harm anyone. There is nothing to be afraid of".

Potter-Hughes emphasised the importance of the support from Irish students' unions of the marriage equality campaign in Northern Ireland: "It is incredibly important and its encouraging and it reminds us that we're not alone here".

Essentially, a petition of concern henceforth vetos assembly decisions until a petition disallows it.

Ms McAllister called for the petition of concern mechanism to be changed.

What is a petition of concern?

. Should it be cited, any motion or amendment now being discussed then needs cross-community support to continue.

In such cases, a vote on proposed legislation will only pass if supported by a weighted majority (60%) of members voting, including at least 40% of each of the nationalist and unionist designations present and voting.

A valid petition requires the signatures of 30 MLAs.

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