"Gay Marriage" by Pargon / CC BY 2.0

Marriage Equality Finally Legal in Northern Ireland

Jan 14, 2020

By Jacob Ogles

Marriage equality is the law of the land in Northern Ireland beginning today.

It’s been a complicated road for Northern Ireland to join the rest of the United Kingdom in legalizing both same-sex marriage and abortion. But after the U.K.’s Parliament stepped in following a collapse of the Northern Ireland government, the day when all could take part in legally recognized nuptials has been a certainty.

An amendment to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019 makes clear the U.K. Parliament will determine the legality of abortions and marriages. The only way the act from Westminster could have been stopped was if a new Northern Ireland government formed by October 21 last year, which did not occur.

As of Monday morning, same-sex couples can register with the government and have their unions legally recognized, according to the BBC. That means the first legal ceremonies can take place as soon as February 10. Northern Ireland also established recognition for civil partnerships.

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