NI: Same-sex religious weddings now allowed
Same-sex couples in Northern Ireland can have religious wedding ceremonies from today as new regulations come into force.
The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2020 removes the prohibition on religious marriage of same-sex couples from 1 September 2020.
Same-sex civil marriages became legal in Northern Ireland in January under regulations laid in line with the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Act 2019, which required the Northern Ireland Secretary to introduce secondary legislation providing for same-sex marriage and greater access to abortion if devolution was not restored by 21 October 2019.
The UK government is expected to introduce separate regulations allowing for the conversion of same-sex civil partnerships to marriages but has not yet indicated when this will happen.
Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland director, told BBC News: “This is an important issue for many couples in Northern Ireland, who have previously been prevented by law from marrying in their own church.
“We now urge the government to finish the job of marriage equality in Northern Ireland without further delay, by allowing couples in civil partnerships to convert to married status if they so wish.”