10/09/2019

Valentine's Day Will See First Same-Sex Marriages

The first same-sex weddings in Northern Ireland are set to take place on Valentine's Day next year.

Northern Ireland will become the last UK region to welcome same-sex unions after amendments were successfully added to a parliament bill in July.

Love Equality campaigner Patrick Corrigan confirmed the February 14 date in a Westminster meeting with Northern Ireland Office Ministers Lord Duncan and Robin Walker. Lord Duncan also confirmed the date in a House of Lords debate on Monday evening.

Local Director of Amnesty International and Love Equality campaigner Patrick Corrigan welcomed the news, saying: "There could be no more fitting date for Northern Ireland's first same-sex weddings than Valentine's Day, the feast of love."
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The legalisation of same-sex marriages in the region is due to come into effect on January 13 2020. Couples are obliged to wait the normal 28 days to elapse after they submit their notice of intention to marry, meaning Valentine's Day will see the first same-sex weddings.

In July, Parliament voted to pass the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Bill, which obliges the Government to change the law on 21 October 2019 if the devolved Northern Ireland Executive has not been re-established by that date.

The bill amendment, tabled by Conor McGinn MP, passed by 383 votes to 73 on 09 July.

Mr Corrigan said work is now ongoing to ensure the legislative obligations are met, in time and in full, so that couples here can start to enjoy the same rights as elsewhere in the UK and Ireland.

"We now look forward to the sound of Valentine's Day wedding bells," he said.

"We thank everyone who has worked with us and supported this campaign - especially Conor McGinn MP and Lord Robert Hayward for their steadfast commitment to the cause of equality."



(JG/MH)

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