First same gender couple to be married in Northern Ireland

Robyn Peoples and Sharni Edwards kiss after becoming the first same-sex couple to get married in Northern Ireland in Carrickfergus, north of Belfast, Tuesday, February 11.

The couple had been planning a civil partnership — legal across the U.K. since 2005 — but decided to get married instead after the landmark change came into law Monday.

Northern Ireland’s prohibition on same-sex marriage was eliminated by the central government after a vote by British lawmakers when the province did not have a sitting government.

The socially conservative Democratic Unionist Party had previously been able to block same-sex civil marriage rights. The provincial assembly began sitting again last month.

The British parliament also voted to loosen restrictions on abortion in the region at the same time. (AFP/Reuters)

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