The world is about to have its first country to accept gay marriage through a popular vote. Though final results aren't expected for hours, both sides say the "yes" side has won an easy victory in yesterday's referendum, reports the Irish Times. One of the main opponents conceded as much in a tweet: "Congratulations to the Yes side," wrote David Quinn of the Iona Institute, a Catholic think tank. "Well done." It's not a huge surprise given that all major political parties backed the idea, and massive turnout boded well for proponents.
"The numbers of people who turned out to vote is unprecedented," says the nation's equality minister. "This has really touched a nerve in Ireland today." Reuters is typical in its coverage in describing the result as a "dramatic social shift" in the predominantly Catholic country, one in which homosexuality was still illegal just two decades ago. (Read more same-sex marriage stories.)