NORTHERN IRELAND: Same-Sex Marriage Ban To Be Challenged In Court
Via the Belfast Telegraph:
The first two gay couples to enter into civil partnerships in the UK will this week mount a High Court challenge to Northern Ireland's same-sex marriage ban, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal. Grainne Close and Shannon Sickles will be joined by Chris and Henry Flanagan-Kane to seek a judicial review of the ban. Both couples cemented their relationships in civil partnerships a decade ago in Belfast City Hall. But while Northern Ireland was the first place in the UK to recognise civil partnerships, it is now the only part of the UK and Ireland that has not legalised same-sex marriage. "We are unable to enter into a marriage solely because we live in Northern Ireland," Ms Close stated. In a Facebook post, Ms Close wrote: "This year, December 19th, 2015 Shannon and I, along with Chris and Henry Flanagan-Kane, will celebrate 10 years of our civil partnerships. "Northern Ireland was the first place in the UK to recognise civil partnership legislation and is now the last place in the UK and Ireland to recognise equal marriage.Northern Ireland's legislature has refused to consider same-sex marriage four times, most recently in late April. Two weeks ago over 20,000 marched in Belfast to demand marriage equality.