The first same sex marriage has taken place in Northern Ireland after the marriage equality law was passed. A Belfast couple tied the knot in a hotel at Carrickfergus, County Atrim on Tuesday afternoon on their sixth anniversary together.
Robyn Peoples, 26, and Sharni Edwards, 27, made history after being engaged for six years. They had been engaged before the law passed and were planning to have a civil ceremony but changed to a wedding after the law was passed.
The law came after a long and high-profile campaign for change. England and Wales passed the law in 2013, with the Republic of Ireland following in 2015.
Sharni Edwards said, “it means the absolute world to be married,” thanking the activists who helped put the change in motion.
Continuing, she said “we didn’t expect to be the first couple, it’s coincidental. 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.”
Even though the wedding took place in County Atrim, activists celebrated outside Westminster to thank MPs who helped make this happen.
Among those celebrating, included Sara Canning, the partner of murdered journalist Lyra McKee, who said, “this really means so much and has brought me some much-needed light in what has been a dark year.”
Adding, “I know Lyra would have been overjoyed to see this day.”
The law has been a monumental change and a wonderful moment in history.