Ireland vote YES in historic marriage equality referendum
Elinor Rice | 23 May 2015 | News
22 years after decriminalising homosexuality Ireland become the first country to call upon the electorate to legalise same-sex marriage.
Turnout to the vote was unprecedented, averaging at around 60% nationwide and reaching 80% in some parts of the county.
Anybody who has emigrated from the country in the last 18 months was given the right to vote if they came to a polling station in person. While critics questioned why a postal vote service was not available, nothing stopped expats (including County Wicklow resident Hozier) travelling home from as far away as New Zealand purely to cast their vote.
The Republic of Ireland will now allow marriage to anybody, irrespective of their gender. This follows the Same-Sex marriage acts that were passed in England and Wales in July 2013 and in Scotland in February 2014.
The Northern Ireland executive have stated that they have no intention to pass any laws on same-sex marriage and will recognise any same-sex marriage as a civil partnership.
The victory has been credited to the yes campaign winning not only the youth vote but also reaching further than Dublin and winning over Middle Ireland. Perhaps most importantly almost all politicians showed united support for yes.
Reactions on twitter have been overwhelmingly positive, the whole world is supporting Ireland on this momentous day.
Huge sense of pride over what has happened in Ireland, tempered by massive sadness that I'm missing the bloody party. #therealvictimhere
Irish senator David Norris, who encouraged the decriminalisation of homosexuality, said: “It’s wonderful. It’s a little bit late for me … I’ve spent so much time pushing the boat out that I forgot to jump on and now it’s out beyond the harbour on the high seas, but it’s very nice to look at.”
After a landslide victory the streets of Dublin are tonight expected to be graced with celebration and excitement. Well done Ireland.