Gay and lesbian couples in Northern Ireland began registering to marry as a new marriage law took effect on Monday.
Northern Ireland was the only part of the United Kingdom where same-sex couples could not wed.
Last year, lawmakers in the UK overwhelmingly backed a plan to extend marriage equality to the region if the Northern Irish government remained at a standstill after three additional months. A similar vote was adopted on access to adoption. The laws went into effect after a last-ditch attempt by local lawmakers to block the changes collapsed.
Labour MP Conor McGinn, who introduced the change in the law, called Monday a “good day” for Northern Ireland.
“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 told the BBC.
Gay couples began marrying in England and Wales more than six years ago.
Couples who register must wait 28 days before marrying, which means the first same-sex weddings in Northern Ireland will take place the week of Valentine’s Day.
by Carlos Santoscoy
Source – On Top Magazine