A few months ago, the UK parliament voted to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in Northern Ireland and recently it was made official that same-sex marriage and abortion will be legal starting next year, according to Mirror.
Before this decision was ultimately made, there were protesters that desperately attempted to block the UK parliament from legalizing same-sex marriage and abortion, but they failed to persuade the parliament to change their minds and now there are frameworks in place for when the people of Northern Ireland can expect marriage equality and abortion rights.
According to the UK government, same-sex marriage will be legal no later than January 13, 2020, and legal abortions will be available by March 31, 2020. Julian Smith, the secretary of Northern Ireland, said: “This means, at the latest, the first civil same-sex marriages will take place on the week of Valentine’s Day 2020.” I for one am very happy that these decisions were made, as it shows that same-sex relationships and women’s rights are becoming more accepted around the world. However, religious same-sex marriage ceremonies will take a bit more time to be recognized because a “short consultation” is needed to decide such a thing.
This is a huge step towards LGBT equality and women’s rights as Northern Ireland, until today, was the only country in the UK that didn’t allow same-sex marriage and only had legal abortions if the mother’s life was at risk, ignoring other valid reasons why a woman would want to terminate her pregnancy. I congratulate the people of Ireland for this accomplishment and, as always, hope that other countries will follow suit.