Ireland Votes Yes
The Republic of Ireland has voted overwhelmingly to legalise same-sex marriage in a historic referendum announced on May 23rd.
More than 62% voted in favour of amending the country’s constitution to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.
It is the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage through a popular vote.
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said it was a “small country with a big message for equality” around the world.
The referendum was held 22 years after homosexual acts were decriminalised in the Republic of Ireland.
Same-sex marriage is now legal in 20 countries worldwide.
What the ‘yes’ vote means
The Republic of Ireland has a written constitution which can only be changed by referendum.
Now that the proposal has been passed, a marriage between two people of the same sex will have the same status under the Irish constitution as a marriage between a man and a woman.
They will be recognised as a family and be entitled to the constitutional protection for families.
Civil partnerships for same-sex couples have been legal in Ireland since 2010, giving couples legal protection which could be changed by the government.
Well done Ireland! 🙂