Ireland votes Yes to gay marriage

Billy Ehrenberg
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Enda Kenny, Taoiseach of Ireland, holds up a Yes vote badge as Dublin celebrates (Source: Getty)

Ireland has become the first country to vote for the legalisation of same-sex marriage. The Yes vote in the Republic won handily, garnering 62 per cent of the support.

This is a socially significant step for Ireland; the Catholic church has held great sway there, and its line of the referendum was, predictably, that its congregations vote No.

The 3m strong electorate turned out at strength: turnout was around 65 per cent, with 1.2m voting Yes and 734,000 voting no.

Ireland has draconian laws on civil liberties, with its abortion restrictions some of the most stringent in the developed world.

Enda Kenny, Taoiseach of Ireland, said:

In the privacy of the ballot box, the people made a public statement. With today’s vote we have disclosed who we are. We are a generous, compassionate, bold and joyful people who say yes to inclusion, yes to generosity, yes to love, yes to gay marriage.

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