Ireland says 'Yes' to gay marriage in world first | Inquirer Lifestyle
Two men kiss as first results start to filter through in the referendum, Dublin, Ireland, Saturday, May 23, 2015. Ireland has voted resoundingly to legalize gay marriage in the world's first national vote on the issue, leaders on both sides of the Irish referendum declared Saturday even as official ballot counting continued. AP

Ireland says ‘Yes’ to gay marriage in world first



Ireland on Saturday became the first country in the world to approve gay marriage by popular vote as crowds cheered in Dublin in a spectacular setback for the once all-powerful Catholic Church.


With ballots in 40 out of 43 constituencies counted, the “Yes” vote was ahead with 62.3 percent, official figures showed, and public broadcaster RTE said the result from the ongoing count was now certain.


Hundreds of “Yes” supporters gathered in the grounds of Dublin Castle cheered and waved rainbow flags as the results came through.


“It’s an amazing day to be Irish!” said Rory O’Neill or “Panti Bliss”, Ireland’s foremost drag queen and a leading “Yes” campaigner, as she arrived at the party wearing a figure-hugging dress and high heels.


Outside the main counting centre in Dublin, Grainne O’Grady, 44, and Pauline Tracey, 53, said the plan was to “celebrate, celebrate, celebrate”.


“I’m just so happy I could burst. We were voting on whether we were equal in our own country,” said O’Grady, wearing a “Yes Equality” T-shirt.


Legalising gay marriage is a seismic change in Ireland, where the Church remains a powerful force. Homosexuality was illegal until 1993 and divorce until 1996, and abortion is banned except where the mother’s life is in danger.


The Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, Ireland’s top Catholic leader, told RTE that the Church now needed a “reality check”.


“I think the Church needs to do a reality check right across the board… Have we drifted away completely from young people?” he said.


“It’s a social revolution that didn’t begin today,” said Martin, who had called for a “No” vote arguing that gay rights should be respected “without changing the definition of marriage”.


Health Minister Leo Varadkar, who became Ireland’s first openly gay cabinet minister when he came out this year and is tipped as a future leader, also said the “Yes” campaign had been a “social revolution”.


“We’re the first country in the world to vote for marriage equality by popular vote and to enshrine it in our constitution,” he told RTE.


Two men kiss as first results start to filter through in the referendum, Dublin, Ireland, Saturday, May 23, 2015. Ireland has voted resoundingly to legalize gay marriage in the world's first national vote on the issue, leaders on both sides of the Irish referendum declared Saturday even as official ballot counting continued. AP
Two men kiss as first results start to filter through in the referendum, Dublin, Ireland, Saturday, May 23, 2015. Ireland has voted resoundingly to legalize gay marriage in the world’s first national vote on the issue, leaders on both sides of the Irish referendum declared Saturday even as official ballot counting continued. AP

Celebrities backed ‘Yes’


The referendum has pitched traditionalists including the Catholic Church against those in favour of gay marriage, including Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny, a Catholic who told voters there was “nothing to fear” in a televised message on Wednesday night.


All Ireland’s main political parties supported amending the constitutional definition of marriage.


A string of Irish celebrities have also backed the “Yes” campaign including singers Bono and Sinead O’Connor plus actor Colin Farrell.


The Catholic Church campaigned strongly for a “No” vote, insisting marriage can only involve a man and woman, drawing support from many older voters.


The majority of Irish people identify themselves as Catholic, but the Church’s influence has waned in recent years amid growing secularisation and after a wave of child sex abuse scandals.


Around 3.2 million people were eligible to vote in Friday’s referendum, and the national turnout was relatively high at over 60 percent.


The issue has drawn intense interest on social media under the hashtag #MarRef and was the second most popular trending subject on Twitter Saturday.


Many young Irish voters had been posting selfies of themselves returning from overseas by plane and ferry to vote in favour of gay marriage.


 ‘Ireland has changed’


Ireland will be the 19th country in the world to legalise gay marriage, and the 14th in Europe.


Parliament first has to pass specific legislation and is expected to draw up the bill this week. The first same-sex weddings could then take place in Ireland towards the end of the year.


Across the border in Northern Ireland, gay marriage is banned even though it is legal in the rest of the United Kingdom.


The historic shift brought up raw emotions at the gathering in Dublin Castle, the former centre of British power in Ireland.


Karen Brady, 27, said she had flown home to Ireland from Vancouver in Canada for the referendum.


“I voted with my parents — it was such a memorable and moving moment,” she said.


“I was nearly in tears because a few years ago, Ireland was not like that and my parents would not have accepted me. But Ireland has changed.”




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  • Carlos_Iho

    Marriage originated from religious practices. By all means, gays can legally bond or connect or whatever you may want to call it. Use other terms. But, the term marriage should be exclusively applied for the bond between a man and a woman.

    • TamarindWalk

      Marriage is a legal and civil term.
      You do not go to the CBCP to get a license to marry. You go to the state.
      You do not have to go to a church or mosque to solemnize your marriage. You have only to go to a civil functionary, or even the captain of a ship or a plane.
      Marriage is made on a piece of paper. How it is done or who does it is not a matter of religion.
      Quite frankly, considering the obscene amounts of money wasted on church weddings in this country, perhaps it is best for the state to require civil marriage only.

      • Carlos_Iho

        Marriage has evolved into what you describe above. However, it is a religious practice legalized by the state. In that sense, you can have divorce.

        But I still cannot imagine how same sex marriage has become acceptable to some. You can call same sex union what you like and legalize that union but reserve the term marriage to heterosexual relationships.

      • TamarindWalk

        I still cannot imagine how you discriminate against those wanting divorce, sex education, contraception, and same sex marriage.
        After all, Christianity (well maybe not the manipulative, out of date, backward type of Catholic Christianity we have here) teaches “Live and let Live. Didn’t Jesus turn the other cheek???

  • Dao Ming Si

    An Irish child calling her parents

    Boy: Papa 1, How was I created?
    Papa1: Me and Papa 2 kissed and then boom, you were born.


    A family picture with Irish boy and his two fathers hanging on their walls. Disgusting sight

    • TamarindWalk

      Just as disgusting a sight as a house in the squatters area of our country overpopulated with too many kids.
      Disgusting to you, maybe. But it is reality nonetheless. And if we bury our head in the sand of 16th century Catholicism, we will get nowhere.

      • Kaska

        It’s because you are a homo, you won’t just make right what is really wrong. You gays have mental disorder. You should be purged.

      • TamarindWalk

        Unfortunately, sexuality is not a matter of choice. It is determined genetically. Don’t ask me to prove that, ask medical and psychological experts globally who agree on that almost universally.
        As for purging, that went on when the Nazis and Japanese were running things. No human has the right to purge a group, a race, or a religion. That is a sin and even suggesting it is a sin and it is reminiscent of not just Nazis and Japanese fascists, it is reminiscent of the Catholic church and its crusades and its bloody inquisition!
        For shame!

      • Kaska

        The US in 1970s considered homos as mental disorder but because majority of medical and psychological experts were gays, they just scrap that mind disease without explanation. Russia today still stick to their stance that being gay is a mental sickness. I don’t care on you if you are gay, if you like can of d1cks, go ahead sip them if that’s normal to you. Since you are a homo, it’s normal you won’t admit that you have a mental disorder.

      • TamarindWalk

        You are correct.
        But after very thorough review and study, the medical and psychological people determined that it is not a choice, it is not a mental disorder, it is a way of being.

        You accuse the medical and psychological experts of being predominately gay. Can you prove this, please?
        Your assertions are not only invalid, they are rude. I demand an apology and if you can’t, then we will know you are nothing more than a bigot.

      • Kaska

        The Wikipedia is there for you to read instead of whining here. I’ll just ask an apology if you admit you have mental disorder. Else let’s call it a day.

      • TamarindWalk

        Well. Well.
        And you suppose yourself to be sand? Educated? A person of God?
        You’ve been listening to too much nonsense from the Catholic church!

      • Kaska

        What’s up with the Catholic Church? You want to talk about that now? Is that what you resort to when you can’t explain you have a mental disorder. Let me guess. You were molested by a homo several times when you were younger. That’s aside from watching TV shows hosted by a homo. And finally, your parents simply misguided you that being gay is normal. What a disgusting piece of inverted human.

    • The Irish people say otherwise.

  • Dao Ming Si

    You cannot serve two Gods,Period, if you are a Christian, follow Christian teachings, a Muslim, follow the Koran, a Buddhist, follow Buddha, Jewish, follow the Old testament.

    How can you be a Christian or Muslim or whatever when it clearly says in these religion that same sex marriage is forbidden? Wake up… just cannot serve two Gods…..That is hypocritic,,Even Mother nature will be mad at you.

    • TamarindWalk

      Who told you that nonsense?

    • Morality is doing what is right regardless of what is told. Religion is doing what is told regardless of what is right.

      • Dao Ming Si

        Alright alright, is it right for us to recognise two persons of the same sex as a family? Is it right for a child to have both male or both female parents??? Lol….you are funny.

      • Who’s talking about family? The issue is marriage. It is about giving same sex couples the rights, protection and benefits which the state offers to married opposite sex couples.

      • TamarindWalk

        You don’t have to recognize anything.
        Allowing same sex marriage is not about you. It is about the liberty of those who want to marry.
        If you don’t like gay marriage; don’t marry a person of the same sex – it is as simple as that!

    • Ramon Zamora

      You don’t need religion…..just be good.

    • TamarindWalk

      The issue is that religion is made up of men and its rules were laid down by men. I may follow God, but I don’t follow that man who stands in the pulpit on Sundays and renders his views, or parrots the views of some old men in Rome, of the world.

      While the world progresses and Francis himself has chosen not to hinder
      human equity, some stone age-minded creatures insist on what is
      backwards. To make matters worse, these folks are not only
      backward-thinking; but also hypocrites for denying the very lifestyle
      they secretly enjoy. Wonder when will the Catholic Church ever outgrow
      its delusions of prehistoric sense of authority.

      • Looking Glass

        I am tired to being dictated to by Rome! And I am tired of having the Catholic church stick its nose into our civil affairs!