Northern Ireland’s ban on same-sex marriage is ‘crazy’, Game of Thrones star Kristian Nairn has said.
The openly gay Northern Irish actor played Hodor in HBO’s hit series.
Nairn said he finds it baffling that his home country is the only part of the UK where same-sex marriage is not legal.
‘It confuses me why we always have to be that little step behind on social issues like this,’ the actor told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
‘It should be brought into line with the rest of the UK,’ he added.
Nairn’s comments come amid increasing calls for the legalization of marriage equality from Northern Irish equal rights advocates.
‘Hard to be an ambassador’
Nairn was a well-known figure in his home country’s LGBTI scene for years before his breakthrough performance in Game of Thrones.
For 16-years the actor was a resident DJ at the Belfast LGBTI nightclub, Kremlin, and he used to perform in drag under the pseudonym Revvlon.
‘It makes it hard to be an ambassador from here,’ said Nairn about Northern Ireland’s LGBTI scene.
‘There’s a lot of very amazing things about Northern Ireland, but the gay rights issues are definitely not one of them,’ he added.
Nairn also said that LGBTI issues should be ‘talked about in schools’.
‘It’s not as if we’re going anywhere […] We’re human beings and we’re no more, no less than anybody else,’ he added.
Nairn’s character was killed off in the fifth episode of Game of Thrones’ sixth season.
The series is about to enter its eighth and final season, which will air on April 14.
Northern Ireland is governed separately from the UK on a number of issues, though the country’s assembly has been under suspension for the past two years.
Same-sex marriages which have been conducted in other parts of the UK are only considered as civil partnerships in Northern Ireland.
Polls have shown that the majority of people in Northern Ireland are in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage.
However, moves to introduce marriage equality have been repeatedly blocked by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
The DUP is one of the most socially conservative political parties in Europe and follows strict Christian doctrine.
The UK’s Westminister government has said that the issue of marital rights is something which Northern Ireland’s government must decide for themselves.
Author: Calum Stuart
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