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Northern Ireland is currently the only part of the UK where civil marriage is not available to same-sex couples. However, two of the first couples to enter into Civil Partnerships here; Chris and Henry Flanagan-Kanem, and

Grainne Close and Shannon Sickles have been granted permission to judicially review the Stormont Assembly's refusal to legislate for same sex marriage. The case will be heard before Mr Justice Treacy at Belfast High Court.

Last month the majority of MLSs voted in favour of introducing same sex marriage but unfortunately the proposal fell because the move was opposed using a Petition of Concern - therefore vetoing it.

Success in this case could have positive implications for thousands of other couples in Northern Ireland.

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