Words: Steve Brown
The first same-sex marriages in Northern Ireland are set to take place on Valentine’s Day next year unless there is a power-sharing executive formed at Stormont before October this year.
Back in July Westminster Parliament backed marriage equality in Northern Ireland and voted that it would be introduced to the country by as early as October, unless there is a power-sharing executive formed at Stormont.
Campaigners for marriage equality have said the British government ministers have confirmed same-sex marriage will be legal from January 23, with couples having to wait 28 days after they submit their notice of intention to marry.
February 14 will mark the first day when same-sex couples can marry, according to Irish News.
Speaking in the House of Lords last night, Northern Ireland Office Minister Lord Duncan of Springbank said: "Get ready for Valentine’s Day, because that is when they can do it. I can think of no better time than Valentine’s Day."
Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland director of Amnesty International, part of the Love Equality campaign for marriage equality said: “We are now working closely with government ministers and officials to ensure that the legislative obligations are met, in time and in full, so that couples here can start to enjoy the same rights as elsewhere in the UK and Ireland.
“We now look forward to the sound of Valentine’s Day wedding bells.
“We thank everyone who has worked with us and supported this campaign - especially Conor McGinn MP and Lord Robert Hayward for their steadfast commitment to the cause of equality.”