It is 2005 and two Northern Ireland lesbians wake up to what should be the best and happiest day of their lives. They are on their way to City Hall in the large city of Belfast. Northern Ireland has long been a battle ground between Catholics and Protestants. The majority of Catholics want to see Northern Ireland (now part of Britain) be united to form one Ireland. The Protestants want Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom. The Protestants in Northern Ireland were ‘planted’ there by early English monarchs, notably Queen Elizabeth I in the 17th century. Many Protestants are fundamentalist believers and adhere strictly to the Bible’s interpretation of homosexuality as an abomination. Other Protestant faiths are more liberal and support marriage equality.
Back to our lesbian couple happily making their way to be married against the backdrop of a bitter history. When the United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland) accepted membership of the European Union, it took on the freedoms and equality afford to all its citizens. Marriage for homosexuals is legal in many European countries and names….were on their way to become Northern Ireland’s first lesbian civil partnership ceremony which is the first step to challenging marriage equuality for everyone. Remember this is 2005 and in eight years, a bill passed through the English Parliament in Febriuary to enshrine marriage equality for everyone.
Years from now, young people will shake their heads and say, “why did that generation act unfairly?”