Couples win right to challenge NI gay marriage ban

From RTE News

Two couples have cleared the first legal hurdle in their bid to challenge a ban on gay marriage in Northern Ireland.

A judge in Belfast High Court granted them leave to judicially review the refusal to legalise same sex marriage in the region.

Grainne Close and Shannon Sickles and Chris and Henry Flanagan-Kane are taking the joint action.

They were, respectively, the first and second couples in the UK to enter into a civil partnership after Northern Ireland became the first part of the UK to make that option available to same-sex couples in December 2005.

However, the Northern Ireland Assembly has rejected a proposal calling for the introduction of gay marriage on four occasions since, with unionists opposed to the move using a contentious voting mechanism to effectively veto it.

Following the “Yes” vote in May’s referendum on same-sex marriage in the Republic, Northern Ireland is now set to be the only part of the UK or Ireland where civil marriage is denied to gay couples.

Earlier this month, about 20,000 campaigners marched in Belfast city centre demanding a change in the law.

 – RTÉ News.

One thought on “Couples win right to challenge NI gay marriage ban”

  1. The Belfast Telegraph has more detail and two videos
    ‘ …. the judge said he had read the case papers and had already satisfied himself that the matter should proceed to judicial review.
    “The applicant has an arguable case,” he said.
    ‘He noted there was a case with similarities progressing through the family courts in Belfast involving a same-sex couple who got married in England wishing to have their union recognised in Northern Ireland.
    ‘But he said the potential ramifications of the latest court bid were more significant.
    “In this case they would be seeking to have the legislation struck down,” said the judge.’

    The Irish Times informs us “Following his decision that an arguable case had been established, Mr Justice Treacy agreed to a further review in September.
    “It is expected that the legal challenge will be passed over to another judge who is set to hear the Family Division action in November.”

    The Guardian reports reactions to the judicial review application getting through its first hurdle

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