Same sex marriage is officially legal in Northern Ireland from today

Cheryl Sanders
January 14, 2020

John O'Doherty from the Love Equality campaign said this was the "culmination of five years of campaigning for marriage equality and marks an enormous step forward for LGBT+ people".

Marriage for same-sex couples is now legally recognized in Northern Ireland.

Yesterday, the law was officially changed with the first same-sex marriages set to take place next month.

In July 2019, MPs backed amendments which required the government to change abortion laws and extend same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland if devolution was not restored by 21 October 2019.

The first legally-recognised same-sex marriage ceremonies could take place as early as February 10 under the minimum 28-day notice period.

Couples already in a civil partnership will not be automatically able to convert to marriage now, but those who married outside of Northern Ireland will have their marriage recognised.

With the monumental decision, Northern Ireland now joins the rest of the United Kingdom - including England, Scotland, and Wales - where same-sex marriage has been legal since 2014.

Same-sex marriages have been allowed in England, Scotland, and Wales since 2014, but Stormont did not legalize them.

But the union's Northern Ireland director, Pat Cullen, has now said the "suspension" of that strike action could be proposed at its Northern Ireland board meeting on Thursday. "So, today is an incredible moment for same-sex couples who can finally marry and have their relationships recognised as equal", reads an Amnesty International statement.

"NIPSA will continue to support the Love Equality Campaign in its action on these issues".

"We also want to thank Ministers in the NIO, particularly the Secretary of State Julian Smith, Lord Ian Duncan, and their officials, who have worked with us to give effect to the law within a tight timetable", he added.

Stormont executive ministers are expecting billions of pounds from the treasury to finance the ambitious plans outlined in the New Decade, New Approach agreement, an accord tabled jointly by the British and Dublin governments.

"It's a good day for Northern Ireland, an important day for citizens" rights across these islands and an exciting day for same-sex couples who can now register to marry, ' he said.

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