In pictures: Northern Ireland legalises same-sex marriage in landmark move for equality

A historic day for Northern Ireland

Joanna Whitehead
Tuesday 22 October 2019 11:00 BST

Last night, Northern Ireland legalised same-sex marriage in a historic move that brings it in line with the rest of the UK.

The new legislation, which came into force at midnight on Tuesday 22 October, was celebrated by equality campaigners as a major step forward for LGBT rights in the region.

In July, MPs voted in favour of equal marriage by an overwhelming margin of 338 votes to 73.

Northern Ireland was the only part of the UK where same-sex couples could not marry until last night’s landmark shift, after same-sex marriage was legalised in England and Wales in 2013 and in Scotland in 2014.

The first same-sex marriages took place in the Republic of Ireland in 2015 after the country voted for reform in a referendum.

Paul Twocock, chief executive of LGBT charity Stonewall said: “This is a historic moment for Northern Ireland, where same-sex couples will be able to say ‘I do’ from January 2020.

“After many years of tireless campaigning, this huge moment of celebration is testament to the ongoing work of our partners at the Love Equality campaign.

"LGBT people in Northern Ireland have waited for too long for marriage equality and we can’t wait to see same-sex couples across Northern Ireland marrying the person they love.”

“Thank you to everyone who has told their stories to help us reach this milestone,” tweeted Love Equality NI, a campaigning group for marriage equality.

Click through the gallery to see pictures of the celebrations.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in