Gay Marriage Wins in Ireland

Gay-marriage vote carries the day with 62.1%
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 23, 2015 1:24 PM CDT
Gay Marriage Wins in Ireland
Two men kiss as first results start to filter through in the referendum, Dublin, Ireland, Saturday, May 23, 2015.   (Peter Morrison)

It's official: Irish voters have resoundingly backed amending the constitution to legalize gay marriage by 62.1% to 37.9%, the Guardian reports. The total vote, with a turnout of 60.5%, was 1,201,607 to 734,300. Gay couples hugged and kissed each other amid scenes of jubilation at counting centers and at the official results center in Dublin Castle, whose cobblestoned central square was opened so thousands of revelers could sit in the sunshine and watch the results live on big-screen televisions. "We're the first country in the world to enshrine marriage equality in our constitution and do so by popular mandate," says Leo Varadkar, a Cabinet minister who came out as gay at the start of a government-led effort to amend Ireland's conservative Catholic constitution.

"That makes us a beacon, a light to the rest of the world, of liberty and equality," he adds. Political analysts who have covered Irish referendums for decades agreed that today's emerging landslide marked a stunning generational shift from the 1980s, when voters still firmly backed Catholic Church teachings and voted against abortion and divorce. "We're in a new country," says a political analyst who calls the result "a tidal wave" that produced pro-gay marriage majorities in even the most traditionally conservative rural corners of Ireland. Those seeking a "no" outcome described their defeat as almost inevitable, given that all of Ireland's political parties and most politicians backed the legalization of homosexual unions. Click for the full AP story on Ireland's vote. (More gay marriage stories.)

Get breaking news in your inbox.
What you need to know, as soon as we know it.
Sign up
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.