NI: Judgment in NI same-sex marriage cases expected after Christmas

NI: Judgment in NI same-sex marriage cases expected after Christmas

A judgment in two major challenges to Northern Ireland’s ban on same-sex marriages will be delivered after Christmas, the High Court has heard.

The court was asked to rule whether marriage rules in Northern Ireland violated article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights after a challenge was brought by two same-sex couples.

Grainne Close and Shannon Sickles, and Chris and Henry Flanagan-Kanem, were respectively the first and second couples in the UK to enter into a civil partnership after the option became available in December 2005.

They are bidding to bring Northern Ireland in line with jurisdictions in the rest of the UK and Ireland, where sane-sex marriage is now legal.

Mr Justice John O’Hara told the High Court in Belfast: “There are a lot of issues raised in this case and the other. I will give my judgment after Christmas.”

Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland programme director at Amnesty International, said: “We’re hopeful the judgment will allow many committed, loving couples in Northern Ireland the simple right to get married.

“It is shameful that these couples were forced to appeal to the courts to get equal treatment and that a minority of politicians have continued to block this progress, in defiance of public opinion.”

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