Gay Marriage is Legal in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has legalised same-sex marriage. 

It brings the country in line with the rest of the United Kingdom with the first gay weddings expected to take place on February 14th 2020.

Over the years, campaigners have made numerous legal challenges arguing the ban is discriminatory but all have been unsuccessful.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has been the biggest political sticking point having blocked all previous attempts at legislation.

Why Now?

Northern Ireland’s legislative assembly hasn’t sat at Stormont since January 2017 when power-sharing between the DUP and Sinn Fein collapsed.  Subsequent attempts to restore a devolved Government to Northern Ireland have failed.

MPs in Westminster voted 383 to 73 in July 2019 in favour of legalising both same-sex marriage and abortion in Northern Ireland.  This gave a 3-month window and an October deadline for the Assembly to re-form and challenge the decision. 

Those 3-months are now up and without a Government sitting at Stormont it means the law passed at midnight on October 21st.

Some of the Assembly did sit for the first time in nearly 3 years on Monday evening but it was symbolic: an attempt by the DUP to protest the decision.  Less than a third of members attended and without a ministerial executive in place there was no way to stop the laws coming into force.

It means that same-sex weddings in Northern Ireland can be held from mid- February 2020.  It’s a remarkable thing to have happened and one that many in the local LGBTQ community must have feared would never come.

Its fantastic news and we cannot wait to see the photographs!

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