NI couples win case to challenge marriage ban

Major breakthrough as two gay couples win appeal to challenge Northern Irish marriage ban.

Grainne Close with partner Shannon Sickles, Chris and Henry Flanagan-Kane. These are the two gay couples who won the case to challenge marriage ban

Today, two gay couples won legal permission to challenge the ban on same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

Grainne Close and Shannon Sickles

A judge at the High Court in Belfast granted Grainne Close, her partner Shannon Sickles, and Chris and Henry Flanagan-Kane to seek a judicial review of the current ban on same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland. The judge ruled that both couples had “arguable cases” and granted them the right to proceed.

Both couples, who entered into civil partnerships in 2005, say that not having access to civil marriage was a breach of human rights.

Chris and Henry Flanagan-Kane

Their solicitor Mark O’Connor, “We are disappointed in these times of economic hardship and difficulties in access to justice that the applicants are forced to rely on the courts to ensure our politicians act without discrimination, without prejudice, and without bias.”

Following the ruling that the couples had an arguable case, Justice Treacy agreed to a further review in September. It is expected that the legal challenge will be handed over to another judge who is set to hear the Family Division action in November.

© 2015 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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