From Monday, same-sex couples will be able to register to marry, meaning the first ceremonies will take place in February.
For couples who are already married, their marriage will now be legally recognised in Northern Ireland.
However, those who are already in a civil partnership will not be able to convert it to a marriage at this stage.
The Northern Ireland Office is set to begin a consultation later this year about converting civil partnerships and the role of churches in same-sex marriages.
Heterosexual couples will also be able to enter into civil partnerships from today.
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