Marriage Equality finally legal in the North of Ireland
After a long political battle, marriage equality has been finally introduced to the North of Ireland
Sinn Féin's Equality Spokesperson, Emma Sheerin, has welcomed the introduction of marriage equality to the north of Ireland, saying: "This is a momentous step for LGBTQ+ people across the north, as same-sex couples receive the long-awaited right to register to marry the person they love and finally have their relationships recognised as equal before the law."
The Sinn Féin executive added: "This day is one to be celebrated and is a major milestone in the journey to full equality for all citizens on this island, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. I would like to pay tribute to all those who campaigned for so long to demand equality, inclusion and fair treatment; today is theirs."
The fight for marriage equality has been just one element in the struggle of the LGBTQ+ community, and although this is a massive achievement, there is still a long way to go.
Same-sex couples will be able to register to marry, meaning the first ceremonies will take place in February.
For couples who are already married, their marriage will now be legally recognised in Northern Ireland.
The Unionist parties have refused for years the rights of people to marry whoever they want.
The Republic of Ireland becomes the first country in the world to bring in same-sex marriage by a popular vote.
On 22 May 2015 a referendum took place in Ireland to amend the Constitution over the legalisation of same-sex marriage. 62.07% of the electorate voted in favour of the amendment.
In England, Scotland and Wales marriage equality was introduced in 2014.