Ireland Says YES to Gay Marriage
On Friday, the people of Ireland voted in favour of same-sex marriage, and we couldn’t be happier! Opinion polls had always put the Yes campaign ahead, but it’s never over until the votes are in and counted. The result means that the Republic of Ireland is the first country in the world to legalise gay marriage by public vote.
And the vote wasn’t even close. The BBC website reported that 1,201,607 voted in favour of same-sex marriage, and 734,300 against. Support in favour, therefore, was about 62%. Not bad for a country that only decriminalised homosexuality 22 years ago.
What’s more, Ireland’s long relationship with the Catholic Church could have made this vote far closer, but it didn’t. The rate of progression in Ireland on the issue of homosexuality is something that should be a beacon of hope to other countries.
Of course, nowhere is this now more noticeable than over the border in Northern Ireland. Despite constant campaigning by pro-equal marriage groups, gay marriage remains a difficult political issue. In April, the Northern Ireland assembly rejected a proposal to legalise gay marriage and, with a referendum on the issue unlikely, it could be some time until the country is any further forward. No doubt, however, supporters of equal marriage will be encouraged by the result of their southern neighbours.
We’re really excited at the thought of seeing the first same-sex weddings in Ireland and by the looks of it there were plenty of proposals on Saturday with many, many more due over the coming days and weeks.
We're thinking of launching an Irish directory for same-sex wedding venues and service providers, and we'd love to know what you think about that. Give us a shout either on our Facebook and Twitter accounts or via our contact page.