Bank of Ireland, BT and IBM are also among the firms that have signed an open letter in support of same-sex marriage, which states: “As employers we encourage and welcome diversity and inclusion in our workforce and recognise the rights of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender employees to be themselves and to live and work, free from discrimination, prejudice or exclusion.”
The letter continues: “A diverse, outward-looking and inclusive society is essential to create a vibrant and competitive economy and a prosperous future for Northern Ireland. To achieve that goal, we believe our people should have equal access to the same rights, entitlements, responsibilities and freedoms enjoyed elsewhere in the United Kingdom.”
The companies also said that extending equal marriage to Northern Ireland would be an aid to attracting and retaining talent in the region.
Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where same-sex marriage is not legal. The Republic of Ireland voted to allow equal marriage in a referendum in 2015, which saw the pro-legalisation yes campaign win a landslide victory.