Ireland legalises same-sex marriage

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Ireland by public vote on Friday legalised same-sex marriage. This was the first time a country legalized same-sex marriage by popular vote. The historic referendum resulted in a landslide sixty percent "yes".

Over sixty percent of the nation's electorate participated in the vote, with about two million counted on Saturday before the result was announced at Dublin Castle. A total of 1,201,607 — 62 percent — of people voted "yes" to gay marriage, with only 734,300 — 38 percent — voting "no".

LGBT flag map of Ireland

Prime Minister Enda Kenny said, "we have disclosed who we are. We are a generous, compassionate, bold and joyful people who say yes to inclusion, yes to generosity, yes to love, yes to gay marriage."

Other political leaders also took to the media to voice their support for the decision. Cabinet minister Leo Varadkar remarked, "We're the first country in the world to enshrine marriage equality in our constitution and do so by popular mandate. That makes us a beacon, a light to the rest of the world, of liberty and equality. So it's a very proud day to be Irish".

Ireland is a majority Catholic country. The church opposes same-sex marriage. Dublin archbishop Diarmuid Martin said Ireland's vote is part of a "social revolution". "If the referendum is an affirmation of the views of young people, the church has a huge task in front of it," he said.

About 2,000 LGBT supporters celebrated in the Dublin Castle courtyard on Saturday. Drag queen Rory O'Neill, publicly known as Panti Bliss, was among the crowd, and stated "I am drunk on Yes [...] It's not that Ireland has changed today, but that Ireland has confirmed the change that we already knew had happened."