First billboards advertising same-sex marriage launch in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland billboard with same-sex couple

The first billboards advertising same-sex wedding ceremonies have been put up in Northern Ireland, after marriage equality was finally legalised in October.

Eight billboards have been erected around Belfast by Northern Ireland Humanists, a branch of the non-religious body Humanists UK, to advertise their secular wedding ceremonies.

The huge signs show beautiful pictures of same-sex couples getting married, with the slogan “love wins for everyone”.

Coordinator of the group, Boyd Sleator, said: “LGBT people in Northern Ireland have suffered for too long under archaic laws influenced by religious groups which have prevented same-sex couples from being able to legally marry.

“Marriage is a fundamental human right and these billboards celebrate equality, fairness, and the enormous progress that we’ve achieved.

“From next year, same-sex couples will be able to legally wed the person they love, and we hope people will choose a bespoke, humanist wedding to mark their special day.”

Northern Ireland Humanists

The billboards advertise non-religious ceremonies. (Northern Ireland Humanists)

Humanist weddings do not take place in registry offices or places of worship, and are legally recognised in Northern Ireland and Scotland but not in England and Wales.

The group said it had been “inundated” with requests from same-sex couples who want to get married next year.

There were scenes of celebration across Northern Ireland when same-sex marriage and abortion were legalised at midnight on October 21, finally joining the rest of the UK.

A last ditch attempt to oppose the legislation was led by DUP and UUP members, who on the eve of the deadline tried to reform the region’s devolved government, Stormont, for the first time since March 2017.

The first same-sex weddings in the region of the UK are set to be held on Valentine’s Day.

Lord Ian Duncan, Northern Ireland Office parliamentary under secretary of state, said: “Get ready for Valentine’s Day, because that is when they can do it. I can think of no better time than Valentine’s Day.”