Ireland approves gay marriage in high turnout poll


ireland_legalises_same_sex_marriage_in_historic_pollUK media outlets are reporting that Irish voters have overwhelmingly voted in favour of legalising same-sex marriage.

The Guardian and the BBC say it appears that the yes vote has won with around 62% in favour of marriage equality.

Polling stations reported an “unusually high” turnout in the historic referendum.

The Republic of Ireland will now become the 21st country to legalise same-sex marriage but very first nation to do so through a public vote, instead of through lawmakers or the courts.

Because marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman in the Constitution, the country required a referendum to change the description to include same-sex couples.

Voters were asked if they agreed with the statement: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, told RTE Television that the results represent “a social revolution.” He added that “The church needs to do a reality check.”

Jubilant supporters of same-sex marriage, both ordinary people and celebrities, have taken to social media to celebrate the outcome.

Openly gay British singer Sam Smith tweeted: “So happy Ireland have passed the law to get married there. Still genuinely shocks me thou, that this is only just happening!!”

Ireland’s Minister for Equality, Aodhan O Riordain, also commented on social media, writing: “It’s a yes. And a landslide across Dublin. And I’m so proud to be Irish today”.

Same-sex marriage is already legal in England, Scotland and Wales. Neighbouring Northern Ireland remains a holdout in the region, with lawmakers still refusing to move to legalise marriage equality there.

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