Artist creates giant lesbian mural in Northern Ireland as equal marriage protest

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A giant mural calling for equal marriage has been painted in Northern Ireland.

The mural was created by Irish artist Joe Caslin, who painted a similar work in the Republic of Ireland last year ahead of the referendum on same-sex marriage.

Though same-sex marriage is now legal in the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man, England, Wales and Scotland, all progress on the issue continues to be blocked in Northern Ireland by the Democratic Unionist Party.

The DUP last year used peace process powers to file a ‘petition of concern’ and overturn a Stormont Assembly vote for equal marriage, and in its manifesto earlier this year promised to keep defending “traditional marriage”.

As calls for change intensify, Caslin brought a new giant mural to Belfast city centre, ahead of the city’s Pride celebrations.

The artist’s work features a couple from Belfast who travelled to America to get married earlier this year.

Painted with permission from the Hill Street building’s owners, the mural took two days to create – and is intended to fade over time.

Kerb stones in parts of the city have also been painted in rainbow colours for Pride.

Mr Caslin said: “Northern Ireland is the only territory now on the islands of western Europe that doesn’t have same sex marriage – and it’s same-sex marriage not civil partnership.

“Through the work that I did in Dublin last year with the referendum and the large piece we put up on George’s Street, I felt it was an ideal time, coming up to the Pride Festival that takes place this weekend, to reignite that conversation.”

He told the Belfast Telegraph: “In the Republic the question was put to the population who overwhelmingly voted yes and I believe that same question should be put to the people of Northern Ireland.

“If love is there it is one of the most basic connections of the human race and when you find it, you have to mind it.

This mural is tender and dignified and showcases the love that’s there.

“There is no negativity in it at all.

“Belfast has an amazing culture of murals – first there were the political murals and then came the peace murals but it’s now time for other things to be said.

“The city is moving into a new space – it is amazing and vibrant and it is great to be a part of that.”