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First same-sex couple to marry in Northern Ireland launches scathing attack against Arlene Foster

AMANDA FERGUSON February 7, 2020
First same-sex couple to marry in Northern Ireland slams Arlene Foster

(Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

The first same-sex couple to legally marry in Northern Ireland launched a scathing attack against the country’s first minster, Arlene Foster.

Robyn Peoples and Sharni Edwards are all set to casually leap into history books as the first wed same-sex couple following the legalisation of equal marriage this year.

However, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader lashed out at British lawmakers for “imposing” same-sex marriage and abortion on Northern Ireland.

Robyn told PinkNews that neither she or her partner are impressed by the lawmaker’s statement.

“For her job role I just don’t know understand she could say that and dictate to other people how to live their lives,” Robyn said.

“It is not being forced on anyone; people had to fight for this for years.”

It’s the 21st century. No one should dictate to you how to live your life.

“They are saying it’s OK for other people to discriminate and that is wrong.”

Even less impressed with Arlene Foster is Robyn’s mother.

Sharni said: “If they knocked her door [Andrea McCartney] would be like, ‘My daughter is a lesbian,’ and door shut.”

Arlene Foster, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which opposes same-sex marriage and abortion
(Charles McQuillan/Getty)

Robyn said: “The DUP is not allowed near my mummy’s house.

“We have the best family, both ends, very very accepting, it is incredible that way.

“We have always had a safe place and when we got out, it may be only four or five small gay bars but that is your community.”

Sharni said: “We have so much support. Don’t get me wrong we have had remarks in the past but we just walk on.”

Sharni and Robyn previously identified as bisexual but now identify as lesbians.

They both had positive coming out experiences, though Robyn’s was not perhaps even that.

“I didn’t really come out as such; I just told my mum, ‘This is my girlfriend’, and she asked why did I not tell her I was coming out.

“I asked her why I needed to and she said, ‘Because I wanted to throw you a party.’

Sharni laughed: “I swear to God, that’s all I hear. She was fuming because she didn’t get the chance to throw a party!”

Northern Ireland’s first married same-sex couple ‘humbled and grateful’ to be making history.

The pair are getting married at a hotel in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, on Tuesday, February 11, which is their sixth anniversary.

Their role as history makers is a happy accident rather than by design.

Robyn Peoples (L) and Sharni Edwards, Northern Ireland's first same-sex couple to be legally married. (Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Robyn Peoples (L) and Sharni Edwards, Northern Ireland’s first same-sex couple to be legally married. (Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

The couple had been planning a civil partnership on this date, but after the law on same-sex marriage changed in Northern Ireland, following an intervention from Westminster in the absence of devolved government, there was no doubt that civil marriage was the path they would go down.

They told PinkNews when they went to the registrar’s office in Carrickfergus to register for their big day they were told they were the first couple to sign up for a civil marriage.

“It’s crazy,” Sharni said.

“It is so surreal for me. I still have to pinch myself.

“I just feel humbled and grateful. The younger generation need people to look up to, to see it’s OK for a woman to love a woman.”

More: Arlene Foster, DUP, Love Equality, marriage equality, Northern Ireland, same sex marriage

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