From today, gay and lesbian couples can register to marry in Northern Ireland, and the first ceremonies are expected to take place this February

Same-sex marriage is now legal in Northern Ireland, from 13 January 2020.

Not only will engaged couples be able to register to marry, but for those already married, their marriage will now legally be recognised.

The area of civil partnerships is still a tricky one — same-sex couples currently in a civil-partnership cannot currently convert it to a marriage.

The Northern Ireland Office is set to begin a consultation later this year about converting civil partnerships and the role of churches in same-sex marriages.

Straight couples will also be able to enter into civil partnerships from today.

Patrick Corrigan from Amnesty International said it was a “historic day for equality and human rights in Northern Ireland”.

“For too long, LGBT+ people in Northern Ireland have been treated as second-class citizens. So, today is an incredible moment for same-sex couples who can finally marry and have their relationships recognised as equal,” he said.

Same-sex marriages have been allowed in England, Scotland and Wales since 2014, but Stormont did not legalise them.