The first same-sex marriage has just taken place in Northern Ireland! Robyn Peoples, 26, and Sharni Edwards, 27, had previously scheduled today, February 11, 2020 as the day for their civil partnership ceremony, however, following the landmark same-sex marriage legislation passing in the North, the couple decided to keep the same date, but have a wedding instead.
The pair originally chose the date as it marks their six year anniversary, it just so happens that the way timing worked out, it in fact made them the first same-sex couple to be wed in Northern Ireland. Speaking to Love Equality, Sharni explained that the couple “didn’t set out to make history. [They] just fell in love.” She also said that both her and her wife Robyn are “humbled” to have their own wedding as such a landmark moment for the LGBT+ community in Northern Ireland.
Speaking to RTE, the Northern Ireland Director of Amnesty International, Patrick Corrigan, highlighted the importance of the new legislation as well as wishing Robyn and Sharni all the best saying; “Sharni and Robyn’s wedding is a landmark moment for equality in Northern Ireland. We wish them all the love and happiness for their married life together.”
The couple tied the knot at 2PM today in Carrickfergus, County Antrim surrounded by family and friends, with many more supporters online sending well-wishes to the newly weds while also celebrating the occasion and what it signifies for Northern Ireland as a whole.
2146 days after the first same-sex marriages in England & Wales
1869 days after the first same-sex marriages in Scotland
— Scott Cuthbertson (@ScotCuthbertson) February 11, 2020
Media outlets flocked to the ceremony earlier this afternoon to snap pictures of the beautiful brides on their special day.
Huge media interest in Northern Ireland’s first same sex marriage pic.twitter.com/68rtcxZef9
— Gail Conway (@gailconwaymedia) February 11, 2020
The first photos of the happy couple have started to emerge, with both Robyn and Sharni donning beautiful white dresses at their ceremony.
Meet the first same sex couple to get married in Northern Ireland. Mrs and Mrs Robyn and Sharni Edwards-Peoples tied the knot in Carrickfergus this afternoon. More on @bbcnewsline at 1830 pic.twitter.com/zlB0F6lt8n
— Maria McCann (@BBCmariamc) February 11, 2020
— Derek Momodu (@DelMody) February 11, 2020
A kiss after making history. Robyn Peoples (left) and Sharni Edwards become the first couple to have a same sex marriage ceremony in Northern Ireland following a landmark change to the region’s wedding laws. pic.twitter.com/fuTdqFD82u
— David Young (@DavidYoungPA) February 11, 2020
The new legislation came into play yesterday, Monday, February 10, 2020, meaning that same-sex couples who had already gotten married elsewhere now have their marriage legally recognised in Northern Ireland. However, for those who are in a civil partnership, their union will not be converted into a marriage, with many activists continuing to campaign for changes to the law to allow such partnerships to be easily converted.
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