Decentralization will be restored in Northern Ireland

Messages | Great Britain Northern Ireland: "Historic Day" when same-sex couples can register for marriage for the first time

Activists have welcomed a "historic day" for Northern Ireland as same-sex couples can sign up for marriage for the first time. Starting today, couples can register with the General Register Office for Northern Ireland that they intend to enter into a civil same-sex marriage.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL UK - PRESS RELEASE

The first same-sex weddings are expected to take place from February 10th after a notice period of at least 28 days. The changes follow the passage of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019, which received royal approval on July 24, 2019.

Patrick Corrigan, Director of Amnesty International in Northern Ireland, who played a leading role in the successful campaign, said:

"This is a historic day for equality and human rights in Northern Ireland.
For too long, Northern Ireland LGBT + people have been treated as second class citizens. Today is an incredible moment for same-sex couples who can finally get married and their relationship is recognized as being of equal value.

Today and the weddings that will take place next month mark the culmination of years of campaigning. We thank our colleagues in the Love Equality Coalition and all supporters who have made this day a reality. This includes the majority of the members of the Northern Irish Assembly who supported the campaign, our fellow campaigners in Westminster such as Conor McGinn (MP) and Lord Robert Hayward, and the large majorities in both houses who voted in favor of the change in law.

We would also like to thank the Ministers in the Northern Ireland Office (The NIO is a UK government department responsible for Northern Ireland affairs, translator's note), particularly Foreign Secretary Julian Smith, Lord Ian Duncan, and their officials who were with us Have worked together to implement the law on a tight schedule.

In the absence of a decentralized government, we took our campaign as far as Westminster and gained equal rights there. Now that decentralization has been restored, Stormont's new executive must show that it is ready and willing to provide righteous government to all who live here. "