Northern Ireland Celebrates First Same-Sex Marriage: 'Our Love Is Just the Same'
“We feel humbled that our wedding is a landmark moment for equal rights in Northern Ireland," said Sharni Edwards, 27
A happy couple celebrating their sixth anniversary made history Tuesday as the first same-sex couple to be married in Northern Ireland.
“Our love is personal, but the law which said we couldn’t marry was political,” Peoples, 26, told the media, according to The Irish News. “We are delighted that with our wedding, we can now say that those days are over.”
The couple had reportedly booked a civil partnership ceremony at the hotel months before the legislation was passed, but later changed it to a wedding ceremony once they learned they’d be able to register starting Jan. 13.
“We feel humbled that our wedding is a landmark moment for equal rights in Northern Ireland,” said Edwards, 27, a waitress originally from Brighton, England. “We didn’t set out to make history — we just fell in love.”
The special day fell on the couple’s six-year anniversary. They met at a gay bar in Belfast, according to BBC News.
Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, where same-sex marriage has been legal since 2014.
It was only made legal in Northern Ireland last month, though, after the province voted following a six-year battle between the British Parliament in Westminster and Stormont, the seat of Northern Ireland’s devolved legislative power, CNN reported.
Any couples who are already married will now be legally recognized in Northern Ireland, and heterosexual couples can enter civil partnerships, BBC News reported.
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However, same-sex couples who are already in a civil partnership will not yet be able to convert it into a marriage just yet. Later this year the Northern Ireland Office will look into the process of conversion and what role churches will play in same-sex marriages, according to the outlet.
“We are equal to a man and a woman. Our love is just the same, it’s no different,” Peoples told reporters. “Just to be married, now we have this opportunity to be like, this is my wife. I can finally say she is my wife.”