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Source: Social Democratic and Labour Party of Northern Ireland

SDLP Leader, Colum Eastwood MP has welcomed the long overdue introduction of equal marriage here in the North.

The Foyle MP commented:

“This is an historic moment for Northern Ireland and for the LGBT community here as they have their love officially recognised. I regret that we were not able to deliver equal marriage in Stormont, but it was untenable to expect our LGBT+ friends to wait any longer for equality.”

“The long overdue and much anticipated legislation means that from today same-sex couples can register to marry and the first ceremonies will take place in February. Those couples who have entered a civil partnership will be able to convert their union to a marriage in due course. I have written to the Secretary of State asking for guidance around the process and expected timescale as to when this legislation will be finalised.”

“Today’s momentous move is a time to reflect on how far society has come and to consider the work that still needs to be carried out in regard to LGBT rights.”

“Clearly, more must be done to address the critical need for support and advocacy for the LGBT community; including difficulties accessing healthcare specialists among other health inequalities.”

He continued:

“It is important to acknowledge that the fight for equality is ongoing, change still needs to happen and that begins by increasing awareness and educating others about LGBT issues. A progressive society must be a society that works for all its citizens.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom