Robyn Peoples, 26, a healthcare worker and Sharni Edwards, 27, a waitress, are getting married today in Carrickfergus, County Antrim. About 50 people are attending the wedding and 100 will attend the reception in a hotel. But, what is so special about this wedding?
This is the first same-sex wedding in Northern Ireland!
The government of the United Kingdom introduced same-sex civil partnerships across Britain and Northern Ireland in 2005. However, same-sex marriages were not permitted. However, since 13th January, new legislation permits couples to register their intention to marry. Subsequently, 28 days after registering, the couple can marry.
This new legislation aligns Northern Ireland with England, Wales, and Scotland, where same-sex marriages have been permitted ince 2015.
“We were definitely shocked when we learned we’d be able to get married this year,” says Peoples. “We’ve had everything booked for a civil partnership since last January, and it was just the biggest coincidence the law has changed, as we’re now getting married on our six year anniversary.”
While the couple had been planning a civil partnership for long, they decided to get married in the wake of the new law.
The campaign to legalize same-sex marriages was headed by Love Equality, a coalition of six organizations.
“Our message to the world on our wedding day is: We are equal,” Peoples said. “Our love is personal, but the law which said we couldn’t marry was political. We are delighted that, with our wedding, we can now say that those days are over.”
Isn’t this beautiful? Do let us know your views in the comments section below.