Northern Ireland's first same-sex religious marriages can be arranged from today, following legislation introduced by the Northern Ireland Office last month.
Exemptions and protection will, however, be in place for religious bodies that do not wish to conduct same-sex marriages.
Couples can give 28 days' notice of intent to have a religious service from Tuesday, September 1, meaning the first ceremonies could take place on September 29.
Mid Ulster MLA, Emma Sheerin, has welcomed the move but said additional steps would be needed to guarantee equality for all.
"I welcome today's development that will see couples being able to make arrangements to have a religious marriage ceremony," she said.
"Couples planning on getting married will be able to give notice of their intent to have a religious marriage. While today's move is welcome, further progress is needed towards full equality.
"Couples who are in an existing civil partnership should now be able to convert their partnership into a marriage.
"There should be no barriers in place to allow couples who love each other to get married and to enjoy the same rights as everyone else."
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