Ruth Davidson calls on Northern Ireland to back gay marriage

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson will call for Northern Ireland to introduce gay marriage as she makes a keynote speech in Belfast today.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson arrives with partner Jen Wilson to vote in the Scottish Parliament elections. Picture: PA

Ms Davidson will give a lecture as part of Belfast’s Pride celebrations and call on the country to follow Scotland’s example.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the British Isles where same-sex marriage remains outlawed. It was introduced in the Republic of Ireland last year after being backed in a referendum.

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The MSP, who recently became engaged to her partner Jen Wilson, has been a high profile campaigner for gay rights and backed the campaign in the republic.

“As a practising Christian, a protestant and a unionist who is engaged to a Catholic Irishwoman, for me, equal marriage isn’t about one religion, country or community,” she said.

“It is about people in Northern Ireland being afforded the same rights as everybody else.

“Scotland is a better place today because of equal marriage and I want to take that positive message from our experiences here to Belfast and beyond.”