Same-sex couple in civil partnership marries for first time in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has had its first LGBTQ+ couple turn their civil partnership into a marriage. 

People in more than 1,300 civil partnerships can finally marry in Northern Ireland after a long battle that pushed ministers to change the law in Westminster while Stormont was shut down. 

Couples were able to tie the knot from this morning, and Cara McCann and Amanda McGurk, part of the Love Equality Campaign, celebrated on the steps of Belfast City Hall. 

Ms McCann said: ‘We fought long and hard for the right to marry. We want to thank everyone who was part of this great movement for love and equality, and which has delivered this wonderful, positive change for our society.

‘It is just surreal that this day has come and we feel so much more equal and valued today once we received our marriage certificate. Marriage is universal, everyone across the globe knows what a marriage is.’

Although some same-sex couple were able to marry earlier this year, legislation was introduced in October to allow people in civil partnerships to get married retrospectively. 

About 32 couples plan to convert their civil partnerships this week, said Stormont finance minister Conor Murphy. 

The country’s largest party, the DUP, is opposed to the new freedoms on religious grounds, as they believe marriage should be between a man and a woman. 

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