First ever same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland

First ever same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland

Mere months after Northern Ireland officially legalised same-sex marriage, Robyn Peoples, 26, and Sharni Edwards, 27, from Belfast made history by becoming the first-ever lesbian couple to tie the knot in the region.

Activists in Northern Ireland have been fighting for years for same-sex marriage to be legalised in the country that has a conservative Christian majority. Despite homosexuality being decriminalised in the region in 1967 and various other parts of the UK legalising same-sex marriage over the years, the ban remained until recently. In October 2019, both abortion and same-sex marriage were legalised in Northern Ireland, leading many to celebrate their newly found freedom to make their own choices with their bodies.

Now, this deserving couple became the first same-sex pair to legally marry in Northern Ireland. The couple had their ceremony in Carrickfergus, County Antrim on February 11, 2020, also the date of their six year anniversary.

“We didn’t expect to be the first couple, it’s coincidental,” Edwards told The Guardian. “Today is our six-year anniversary so we wanted to go ahead with a civil partnership but when the bill was passed it was perfect timing and it was a complete coincidence, a happy coincidence. We couldn’t be more grateful.”

“For Northern Ireland, we need to be the face of the people to show everyone it’s OK,” adds Peoples. “We fought so long and hard for this opportunity to be seen as equal and now we are here and it’s just amazing.”

“We feel humbled that our wedding is a landmark moment for equal rights in Northern Ireland. We didn’t set out to make history – we just fell in love.”

Feature image: Instagram

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