Same sex marriage is officially legal in Northern Ireland from today 1 month ago

Same sex marriage is officially legal in Northern Ireland from today

A momentous day for the North.

Same sex marriage in now officially legal in Northern Ireland.

From today, January 13, same sex couples will now be permitted to register for marriage. It is expected that the first wedding ceremonies will begin to take place next month.

Couples already in a civil partnership will not be automatically able to convert to marriage currently, but those who married outside of Northern Ireland will have their marriage recognised.

Northern Ireland's ban on same sex marriage and abortion was lifted on October 21 after the Northern Ireland Assembly failed to restore devolution. 

The government collapsed in 2017 with MPs deciding in July of last year that they would extend the rest of the UK's equal marriage and abortion rights to the state if Stormont didn't return.

Both amendments passed through parliament with significant majorities.

The changes to the same sex marriage bill were first tabled by Labour MP Conor McGinn.

He told BBC News NI that the move was a victory for "everyone who values equality, love and respect."

"It's a good day for Northern Ireland, an important day for citizens' rights across these islands and an exciting day for same-sex couples who can now register to marry," he said.

Same sex marriage has been legal in England, Scotland, and Wales since 2014.

In 2015, Ireland legalised equal marriage too, following a landslide referendum victory.