First Same-Sex Couple Weds in Northern Ireland

Robyn Peoples and Sharni Edwards Via Facebook (Reuters Pictures)

Robyn Peoples and Sharni Edwards became Northern Ireland’s first same-sex couple Wednesday according to NBC News.

Same-sex marriage became legal in the country last month. Meanwhile NI’s next door neighbor the Republic of Ireland legalized same-sex marriage in 2015.

“This means everything to us. Just to be married. This is my wife. I can finally say this is my wife,” Peoples told reporters after the ceremony attended by around 50 friends and family. “For Northern Ireland we need to be the faces […] to show everyone it’s OK. We fought so long and hard for this opportunity to be seen as equal and now we are here and it’s just amazing.”

Northern Ireland is eighteenth European jurisdiction to legalize gay marriage, according to the Pew Research Center. There are 22 jurisdictions where same-sex marriage is not legal and another 11 where form of civil unions are legal. 

But marriage equality does not equal full equality. 

Julie Dorf, senior advisor to the Council for Global Equality said, not all countries that allow same-sex marriage allow couples to jointly adopt and cautions against equating the right to marry with freedom from discrimination.