Northern Ireland

Same-sex marriage: Couple 'excited but nervous' to become first in NI

Robyn Peoples and Sharni Edrwards
Image caption Robyn Peoples (left) and Sharni Edwards will celebrate their nuptials on Tuesday in Carrickfergus, County Antrim.

The first same-sex couple scheduled to get married in Northern Ireland have said they are nervous but excited about their big day.

Robyn Peoples, from Belfast, and Sharni Edwards, from Brighton, will celebrate their nuptials on Tuesday in Carrickfergus, County Antrim.

Next week is the first week that same-sex couples in Northern Ireland can legally get married.

Robyn, 26, and Sharni, 27, met five years ago at a gay bar in Belfast.

"We're both nervous but very excited," said Robyn.

"We just can't believe it's happening next week."

Same-sex marriage has been legal in England, Wales and Scotland since 2014. Now the rules have changed for Northern Ireland too.

In July 2019, MPs backed amendments that required the government to change abortion laws and extend same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland if devolution was not restored by 21 October 2019.

An amendment was made to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019 by Labour MP Conor McGinn, saying that the government had to legislate for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

From 13 January, same-sex couples were able to register to marry, meaning the first ceremonies would take place in February.

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