Same-sex marriage has become legal in Northern Ireland bringing it into line with the rest of the UK after a group of conservative MPs failed to block it.
31 Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MPs tried but failed to reconvene the Northern Ireland Assembly, which hasn’t functioned since 2017, as they didn’t have support of other parties. Without the numbers a law passed by the British parliament that extended marriage equality came into effect.
The passing of marriage equality was the culmination of a rollercoaster campaign to align Northern Ireland with the rest of the UK in the face of opposition from the DUP and other social conservatives.
The Guardian reported in 2017, a dispute between the DUP and Sinn Féin collapsed the Northern Ireland Assembly (the country’s parliament), creating a vacuum. MPs at Westminster stepped in by passing an amendment in July by a backbench Labour MP, Conor McGinn, extending marriage equality to Northern Ireland.
This brings the country in line with England and Wales which passed marriage equality in 2013 and Ireland which legalised same-sex marriage in 2015.
The BBC reported the first same-sex marriages in Northern Ireland will begin in February 2020.