Irish voters have spoken, and 62.1% of them have made clear their support for same-sex marriage. The first country to ask voters to decide on the issue has opted for equity by a comfortable majority. Doing so made them the 20th country to legalize marriage for gays and lesbians.
Reacting to the vote, Prime Minister Enda Kenny gave a short, moving speech, in which he said, “With today’s vote we have disclosed who we are — a generous, passionate, bold and joyful people. Yes to inclusion, yes to generosity, yes to love, yes to equal marriage.”
The joy was palpable as supporters gathered to watch the results come in from around Ireland. High numbers of young people turned out to vote, some traveling from overseas to be part of the historic moment.
Since the 1990s, when child sex abuse scandals rocked the Catholic Church, the religious body’s hold over the population has been waning. RTE News spoke to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who said the referendum represents significant social change among young people and that “the church needs to do a reality check across the board.”
Ireland’s majority vote gives encouragement to supporters in countries still wrestling with the question of whether or not to recognize same-sex couples as having the same rights as those in heterosexual relationships. We are moving ever closer to the day we will look back and wonder why on earth there was ever such a fuss over a simple matter of human rights. Thank you, Irish supporters, for putting the pressure on democracies still dragging their feet.
Read more about the historic vote:
- Ireland becomes first country to legalize gay marriage by popular vote
- The best small country in which to be gay? It’s better than yesterday – Enda
- Ireland same-sex marriage referendum: ‘Yes’ wins