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May 29, 2015

Ireland makes history, approves marriage

Dublin, Ireland--The Republic of Ireland made history on May 22, becoming the first country to pass marriage equality through a popular referendum.

About 60 percent of the voters in the country turned out for the election, with 62 percent voting in favor of allowing same-sex marriage. The support, while evident in polls leading up to the election, would recently have seemed surprising in a country with an 84 percent Roman Catholic population that still outlaws most abortion and only decriminalized homosexuality in 1993.

The country has had civil partnerships since 2010; those can now be converted to full marriage. Couples who were not in a civil partnership will be able to marry legally starting in August, according to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald. She said legislation to allow marriage will be enacted by the end of July. Those who have filed the 90-day notice of intent for a civil partnership will be able to change it to a notification of marriage, if the 90 days would be over in August.

The law opens civil marriage to same-sex couples. As far as religious marriages go, only denominations that approve of them will grant them, and no religious organization can be forced to perform a religious marriage.

Despite the acrimonious nature of such campaigns in the United States, some opponents of same-sex marriage sent gracious messages after their defeat.

�Congratulations to the Yes side. Well done,� tweeted a conservative Catholic think-tank that opposed the measure, according to CNN.

Another group, Mothers and Fathers Matter, issued a statement reading, �This is their day, and they should enjoy it. Though at times this campaign was unpleasant for people on all sides, nobody who involves themselves in a campaign does so with anything but the good of their country at heart. There is no better way to resolve difference than the way we are using today.�

Aodh�nR�ord�in, Ireland�s equality minister, tweeted, �Ireland hasn�t just said �Yes�� Ireland has said: �F?CK YEAAHHHH�.�

Going into the election, there were fears that the results would create a rural/urban split, but only one of 43 constituencies voted against same-sex marriage on the whole. Some areas that had, in the past, voted against reforming divorce and abortion laws, still voted in favor of marriage equality.













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