Gay couples can register to marry in Northern Ireland from today
Gay couples in Northern Ireland are able to register to marry for the first time ever from today.
Couples are now able to give notice of their intent to form a civil same-sex marriage to the General Register Office for Northern Ireland.
The first same-sex weddings are expected to take place from February 10, following the minimum period of notice of 28 days.
The changes follow passage of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019, which received Royal Assent last July.
Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland director of Amnesty International, which played a leading role in the campaign, said: "This is an historic day for equality and human rights in Northern Ireland," he said.
"For too long, LGBT+ people here have been treated as second-class citizens. So, today is an incredible moment for same-sex couples who can finally marry and have their relationships recognised as equal.
"Today, and the weddings which will follow next month, mark the culmination of years of campaigning and we thank our colleagues in the Love Equality coalition and every supporter who helped make this a reality.
"That includes a majority of NI Assembly members who supported the campaign, our champions at Westminster such as Conor McGinn MP and Lord Robert Hayward, and the huge majorities in both Houses who voted for the law change."
Mr Corrigan also thanked ministers in the NIO, "and their officials, who have worked with us to give effect to the law within a tight timetable".