Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland is the last UK region where gay marriage is still illegal

By Catriona Webster

Northern Ireland became the only part of the UK where gay marriage is still illegal today after two couples tied the knot on the stroke of midnight in Scotland's first same-sex weddings.

Joe Schofield and Malcolm Brown, both 42, and Susan Douglas-Scott (54) and Gerrie Douglas-Scott (59) are the first of 17 couples to marry on Hogmanay.

MSPs passed the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill in February, making Scotland the 17th country in the world to legalise same-sex ceremonies.

More than 250 couples have converted their civil partnerships to marriage since the law came into effect on December 16.

Today is the first day after the usual 15-day notice period for marriages that same-sex weddings can take place.

In April, the Northern Ireland Assembly rejected a motion calling for the introduction of same-sex marriage during a Stormont debate - the third time it had done so in 18 months.

The DUP tabled a petition of concern, ensuring the Sinn Fein proposal would not succeed.

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