Northern Ireland Has Finally Legalized Same-Sex Marriage

Northern Ireland was the only part of the U.K. in which gay marriage was not legal.

Gay couples in Northern Ireland are rejoicing, as the government has finally legalized same-sex marriage.

Northern Ireland was the only part of the U.K. in which gay marriage was not legal.

The local parliament has been on a three-year hiatus. British lawmakers voted to directly overhaul the law against gay marriage unless Northern Ireland restored its assembly by the deadline of October 21. The assembly did manage to meet on Monday morning, but it was unable to prevent the amendment that legalized gay marriage.

The new law officially took effect at midnight on Monday.

Amanda Milnes, a bank worker, told The Guardian that she’s excited to finally start planning her wedding to her partner Christina Conlon.

“What a day to be gay in Northern Ireland,” Milnes said. “What a day to see history happen. It’s just a phenomenal feeling knowing that I will marry Christina, the love of my life, and celebrate until our feet can’t hold us up any longer… We stayed up till 12 and counted down the seconds like it was New Year’s Eve.”

The British parliament will now begin bringing in the new legislation. The first same-sex weddings are due to take place on Valentine’s Day 2020.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in England, Scotland, and Wales since 2014.

In addition to marriage equality, abortion is also now decriminalized in Northern Ireland. The region’s abortion laws were previously some of the strictest in the world.

 


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