Belfast Telegraph

Gay Northern Ireland couple in bid to see marriage recognised

By David Young

A legal challenge to Northern Ireland's ban on recognising same-sex marriages in Great Britain has been launched in Belfast's High Court.

The challenge is being brought by two residents of Northern Ireland. Although the couple were lawfully married in England, their marriage is recognised as merely a civil partnership here. The couple - whose names cannot be reported for legal reasons - are asking the court to declare that their marriage is lawfully constituted in Northern Ireland and should be recognised as such.

John O'Doherty, director at gay rights group The Rainbow Project, said: "While same-sex marriage legislation in Westminster had many positive aspects, we believe that its provision forbidding the recognition of lawful same-sex marriages in Northern Ireland is irrational, contrary to principles of British constitutional law and incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights."

Northern Ireland is the only UK region where same-sex marriages are not conducted or recognised. The judicial ruling may take up to 18 months to be delivered.

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