Same-sex couples can apply to have religious weddings in Northern Ireland from today (1 September), with ceremonies set to begin later this month. Gay weddings began in Northern Ireland in February, but so far couples have only been allowed to undergo civil weddings – with a further wait for regulations to be amended to allow religious weddings and for the conversion of existing civil partnerships into marriages. From 1 September, however, couples in Northern Ireland can also register for a religious wedding ceremony, bringing the region in line with Scotland, England and Wales. Religious bodies can also choose to opt in to provide same-sex weddings from Tuesday. With a statutory 28-day waiting period, the earliest date for a same-sex religious wedding will be 29 September.