11/02/2020

Joy As First Same-Sex Marriage To Take Place

The first same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland is set to take place today.

Belfast woman Robyn Peoples will walk down the aisle with her partner Sharni Edwards, from Brighton, in Co Antrim later today, Tuesday 11 December.

The occasion comes in the first week that same-sex couples can legally wed in Northern Ireland after legislation was passed in the House of Commons last year.

It's understood that Robyn, 26, met her bride, aged 27, at a gay bar in Belfast. They will tie the knot in Carrickfergus, while another 27 couples have also given notice to have a same-sex marriage in the coming weeks.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy welcomed the occasion as a "huge milestone for equality" in Northern Ireland.

He was joined by Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey and the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Daniel Baker to congratulate local equality charities on a successful campaign.
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Minister Hargey commented: "This is truly a major step forward. In legally permitting same sex couples to express their love for each other in marriage, we show our inclusiveness and respect for diversity and that can only be a good thing.

"Equality in love is a basic right that has for too long not been afforded to LGBT people here and I want to celebrate this development, and show my support for a more inclusive society. One that recognises that we are all entitled to love and be loved."

Cllr Daniel Baker added: "This is a really important day for all those who have tirelessly campaigned for marriage equality over the years, and I'm delighted to be showing my support here today. As First Citizen of Belfast, it makes me very proud that we are now a city which recognises same-sex marriage and for the first time, same-sex couples will be able to enjoy the same rights as other couples. This is about building a Belfast for all, where everyone's rights are respected and this is an important step on our journey to building an inclusive society, one where everyone is shown tolerance and respect."



(JG/CM)

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