Ireland Becomes First Country To Legalise Same-Sex Marriage By Popular Vote
Ireland has voted in favour to legalise same-sex marriage in a referendum that has seen the country to be the first in the world to do so by popular vote.
Only one of Ireland’s 43 constituencies voted against the measure.
The final figures revealed that approximately 62% of Irish Republic’s electorate voted in favour of same-sex marriage, with 38% voting in opposition of the move. Out of an electorate of over 3 million, 1,201,607 voted in favour of the change.
A reported 2000 supporters gathered in the grounds of Dublin Castle to witness the result, painting the grey, cobble-stone environment with an array of colours.
As the result was revealed, those gathered in the grounds of Dublin Castle erupted into a mass of cheers and emotion, with many waving the symbolic rainbow flag in celebration of the victory.
“It’s an amazing day to be Irish”, Rory O’Neill, also known as Ireland’s leading drag queen Panti Bliss, has told an ABC reporter.
The historic result also prompted a large celebration on the streets of Dublin’s gay district, close to the national court centre.
The victory has been a tremendous accomplishment for Ireland, where the Catholic Church still remains as a powerful force within the country.
“The people of Ireland have struck a massive blow against discrimination” Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Labour leader Joan Burton has declared
Ireland’s health minister Leo Varadkar, who became the countries first openly gay minster earlier this year, has stated that the campaign was “almost like a social revolution”.
Ireland has seen a considerable shift in just over ten year in regards to it’s acceptance of the gay community. It was only in 1993 that Ireland changed its stance on homosexuality and decriminalised consensual homosexual acts within the country.
The referendum saw quite a large turnout, particularly among younger voters, with 61% of the country participating in the vote.
Alongside the excitement occurring within Ireland’s centre, a social media campaign titled #hometovote was started. The campaign showcased the journey back home of many Irish expatriates, whilst also encouraging many Irish-natives to return home to participate in this momentous referendum.
— William H L Edgill (@Edgillwhl) May 21, 2015
British Prime Minister David Cameron, who legalised gay marriage in Britain, was one of thousands who used the platform of Twitter to express their support and congratulations.
Congratulations to the people of Ireland, after voting for same-sex marriage, making clear you are equal if you are straight or gay. — David Cameron (@David_Cameron) May 23, 2015
Rodney Croome, Australian Marriage Equality national convenor, has stated that he was overjoyed with the referendum result within Ireland, and hopes that it will positively impact the marriage equality debate occurring within Australia.
Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, has announced yesterday that the Labor party will move a bill to legalise same-sex marriage. The bill is expected to be presented to the House of Representatives on Monday.
The move has come shortly after the Greens party announced their Marriage Equality Bill would be debated in the Senate on June 18, with a view to vote on November 12.
Mr. Shorten is urging the Prime Minister to consider a conscience vote to his MP’s, as even with a conscience vote within the Labor party, Mr. Shorten does not have the numbers to solely pass the bill on his own.
Deputy Leader, Tanya Plibersek is however pushing for a binding vote in favour of the issue.
When asked in an interview on 7:30 why Labor was acting now rather than when they were in power, she simply stated that there was a greater community support for it now.
“We have the opportunity now as the leader and deputy to move this bill” explained Plibersek.
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