Northern Ireland teenager Darragh Tibbs wants to know why his parents aren't allowed to marry despite being together for 21 years.
Drew Sheldrick

29 Mar 2016 - 12:14 PM  UPDATED 1 Apr 2016 - 10:51 AM

Like Australia, Northern Ireland is one of the few remaining hold-outs on marriage equality among western nations, and 15-year-old Darragh Tibbs is demanding to know why.

Raised by same-sex parents, Tibbs posted what he calls a "wee political rant" to YouTube about politicians currently blocking same-sex marriage in the Northern Irish Assembly, and questioning why he has not received a reply to a letter he sent to his local MP on the issue six weeks ago.

"I live in Northern Ireland and I come from a same-sex family. In Northern Ireland gay marriage is illegal. In the rest of the UK it's legal, but if you get married in the rest of the UK or in any country in Western Europe and then you come back to Northern Ireland, your marriage won't even be recognised," Tibbs says in the video.

The teenager then goes on to read from his letter addressed to local MLA Gordon Dunne:

“You voted no in the marriage equality vote of last year. I want to know why. I am the child of a same-sex relationship and I can see absolutely no reason why my brother and I should be denied a secure family set-up.

"What gives you the right to take from my brother and me the right to legal protection for our family?"

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In November last year, the Northern Ireland Assembly voted narrowly in favour of legalising same-sex marriage, but the Democratic Unionist Party vetoed any change in the law by using a mechanism called a “petition of concern” to argue that a change to marriage laws did not have sufficient cross-community support.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in the Republic of Ireland since November 2015.