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Comedian John Bishop called for the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the North of Ireland

Bishop recently paid a visit to Northern Ireland and learned “a real lesson”.

Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards 2018 - London Source: Ian West

ALTHOUGH SAME-SEX marriage became legal in Britain in 2013, and was later legalised in Ireland in 2015, it has yet to become legal in the North of Ireland.

Comedian John Bishop, who recently won Ally of the Year at the NatWest British LGBT Awards, mentioned the North in his acceptance speech.

I was in Northern Ireland recently. In Northern Ireland, it is still illegal to have same-sex marriage. I went to have a chat with some of the people from the Rainbow Trust who put together the biggest gay pride in the whole of Ireland and it was real lesson to me. I spoke to them about when the first pride march happened. It is people like this who really paved the way.

He continued:

Now the gay pride in Belfast has 60,000 people turn up. The first time they did it just fifty brave souls got together and when they walked down the road they were faced with people who stood there with placards [...] shouting “You’re going to hell”, “Being gay is a sin”, “You’re an abomination.” Back then there was more protesters than marchers. Now they dwarf the protesters.

The 51-year-old comedian and actor received a standing ovation at the awards ceremony, where he was being celebrated for his contribution to Come Out 2 Play, an initiative that helps LGBTQ people engage with sports, and helps people in the sports world come out as LGBTQ.

Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards 2018 - London Source: Isabel Infantes

Bishop, whose son is gay, also spoke about his kids during his acceptance speech.

Like all parents, we have problems with them. One of my sons has a tattoo on his ankle that was meant to be Africa, but looks like Australia. One of my sons mumbles and one of my sons is a gay man.
I’ll be honest, there’s been loads of nights when me and my wife have sat up and worried and worried and worried.
If he doesn’t stop mumbling… What are we gonna do?

Jokes aside, John said that he was ‘massively proud‘ of his son, and he was so pleased with his nomination for Ally of the Year that he took his entire family to the award show.

As well as Come Out 2 Play, John Bishop has been involved in the Thunderclap initiative, which aimed to eliminate biphobia, transphobia and homophobia on social media.

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Kelly Earley

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