Belfast Telegraph

Over 40 Northern Ireland same-sex couples elope to UK or Ireland to marry

At least 43 same-sex couples from Northern Ireland have married in the Republic or other parts of the UK, it has been revealed.

BBC research has revealed the figures based on statistics from 2016.

Of those reported, 27 weddings were in the Republic, 11 in Scotland while five took place in England or Wales.

However, the number could be greater as authorities have said some couples give their hotel address for the ceremony.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK and Ireland which doesn't recognise same-sex marriage. It means what when the couples return to Northern Ireland their union is only recognised as a civil partnership.

Over the weekend there was a rally in Belfast calling for marriage equality.

There have been five attempts to introduce same-sex marriage in the Assembly. In 2015 Assembly members backed legalising same-sex marriages by 53 votes to 52. However a DUP petition of concern meant it did not receive the necessary cross-community backing which would allow it onto the statue books.

Given the political deadlock, there has been attempts to legislate from Westminster. However, the UK government has resisted saying the matter is for the devolved institutions to deal with.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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