Same-sex marriage is declared legal in Northern Ireland

Same-sex marriage is declared legal in Northern Ireland

As of Monday, January 13, 2020, same-sex couples will now be able to register to marry in Northern Ireland.

According to a report by BBC News, the first gay marriage ceremonies will be able to take place in February of this year, and those couples who have already been married will now have their marriage legally recognized.

On the other hand, those people who are already in a civil partnership will sadly not be able to convert that into a full marriage at the present time. Heterosexual couples will also now be given the chance to enter into civil partnerships as of today.

Check out this news report on the new legislation the video below: 

The move follows a number of recent amendments made by the Northern Ireland office, which required the British government to modify the country's abortion laws and extend same-sex marriage to Ulster if devolution wasn't restored by 21 October 2019.

The Office is allegedly also due to begin consultations later this year about converting civil partnerships into marriages, as well as the role of the church in same-sex marriages.

Commenting on the news in a recent statement, Labour MP Conor McGinn told BBC News Northern Ireland that: "Everyone who values equality, love and respect can celebrate today... 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."

An image of a gay pride march. Credit: Pexels

Meanwhile, John O'Doherty, a spokesman representing the Love Equality campaign, stated: "There remain a number of issues to be addressed before couples in Northern Ireland have the same rights as those in other jurisdictions."

He added: "However, we celebrate this remarkable achievement with the thousands of people who made their voices heard and demanded change in spite of the many barriers placed in their way."