Image credit: Robert Paul Young

After five previous attempts to have same-sex marriage recognized in Northern Ireland, progressive politicians and equality campaigners finally succeeded in pushing for this monumental change on Monday.

Laws extending same-sex marriage and abortion in Northern Ireland came into force on Monday, reports The Guardian. With the move, Northern Ireland is now aligned with the rest of the United Kingdom when it comes to same-sex marriage and abortion.

The five previous attempts to introduce same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland were thwarted by the Democratic Unionist Party, who vetoed it consistently by using the petition of concern. What changed this time around was the fact that Northern Ireland’s local government fell apart three years ago, allowing the UK Parliament to pass an administrative bill that would make Northern Ireland’s laws on same-sex marriage and abortion to fall in line with those of England, Scotland, and Wales if the Northern Ireland Assembly was not recalled.

The Democratic Unionist Party attempted to stop this change by recalling the Assembly. However, Sinn Fein and the Alliance party did not attend, resulting in a “stymied debate” and a deserted assembly, according to The Guardian.

The legal victory was hailed by campaigners. Stonewall called it “a historic moment.” Love Equality NI thanks everyone who helped them “reach this milestone.” Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland campaign manager, called it “a new era.”

“The beginning of a new era for Northern Ireland – one in which we’re free from oppressive laws that have policed our bodies and healthcare,” she said.

Congratulations to Northern Ireland for finally achieving marriage equality!

Adam4Adam blog readers, especially those based in Northern Ireland, what is the atmosphere like there? Are you happy that this change is now happening in your country? Share your thoughts and stories with us in the comments section below.

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