Same-sex couples to marry in North of Ireland hail ‘wonderful day’

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Monday 7 December is the first day that same-sex couples can convert their civil partnerships to marriages, in what finance minister Conor Murphy called “an important milestone in the campaign for marriage equality”.

Equal marriage has only been legal in the North of Ireland since January 2020. And now a new “relationship conversion rule” will enable couples in a civil partnership to change their relationship to a marriage if they want to. Belfast Live reported:

The new relationship conversion rule will apply until December 6, 2023 and Finance Minister Conor Murphy vowed to waive the £8 fee for all couples in the first 12 months of the programme.

There are 1,300 civil partnerships in the North of Ireland. 17 conversions were booked at Belfast City Hall today, and a further 32 are scheduled for this week.

‘A wonderful day’

The six counties’ first same-sex couple to transform their civil partnership into a marriage have said it is a wonderful day. Cara McCann and Amanda McGurk celebrated on the steps of Belfast City Hall.

Ms McCann said:

We fought long and hard for the right to marry. We want to thank everyone who was part of this great movement for love and equality, and which has delivered this wonderful, positive change for our society.”

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The relationship conversion rule followed a lengthy campaign and legislative change at Westminster while Stormont powersharing was suspended. 

Additional information via Press Association

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