Gay rights campaigners are trying a new legal strategy to have same-sex marriage recognised in Northern Ireland.
A legal challenge to the current ban is being prepared by LGBT campaign group the Rainbow Project. They claim that the law is discriminatory and breaches the human rights of same-sex couples.
The focus of the challenge will be on the plight of a gay couple who got legally married in England before returning to Northern Ireland.
As things stand, same-sex couples who lawfully marry elsewhere in the UK, or anywhere else where it is legal, are not legally recognised as married upon their return home.
Gavin Boyd, Policy and Advocacy Manager of the Rainbow Project, said that this was an “unlawful, unjust, and unjustifiable” state of affairs.
The new legal challenge may prove to be a popular move. A recent poll suggested that the legalisation of gay marriage would be supported by a majority of people.
Despite its apparent popularity, Northern Ireland is currently the only part of the UK which does not have marriage equality. In May, its MPs voted against legalising gay marriage for the third time.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Scotland since February, when its parliament voted in favour of legalisation. Not long afterwards, England and Wales followed suit with the passage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act.
Photo of Belfast City Hall by Macnolete via Wikipedia