The Republic of Ireland has officially become the first country ever to legalize Same-Sex Marriage through a popular vote, with a substantial “Yes” victory following months of intense campaigning from the Lesbian Bisexual Trans and Gay (LGBT) community as well as heterosexual canvassers.
Despite a mild scare within the last week when a poll had the “Yes” side with a mere 53%-47% lead over the underdogs on the “No” side of the argument, the final statistics saw a phenomenal 67%-34% win for “Yes” voters. The final numbers read 1,201,607 votes to 734,300. This comes as a result of an immense push for eligible citizens to register to vote, leading to one of the highest turn-outs at polling stations around the country in the Republic’s history.
The extremely significant result for same-sex marriage comes a mere 22 years after homosexuality was decriminalised altogether in the country. Civil Partnerships have only been legal in Ireland since 2010, with the first same-sex partnership happening in 2011.
The news has been greeted with worldwide acclaim for Ireland’s new-found progressive laws, with celebrities including Ed Sheeran and Miley Cyrus voicing their support via Twitter. Cyrus tweeted “F*** yeah Ireland!” while Ed Sheeran had previously sent a plea for Irish fans to get out and vote “Yes”. The hash tag “#MarRef” has also trended worldwide, while people of all sexualities around the globe are sending support via social media.
The victory showed just how phenomenal the solidarity is with the thousands of homosexual couples in Ireland. One hopes that it will encourage the many closeted men and women in the country to feel comfortable in their sexuality.
Image copyright: Jefferson Davis – jeffersondavis, flickr.
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