We knew it was a yes, but now it has been made official. Marriage between same-sex couples throughout Ireland officially became a part of Irish law last night, as President Michael D Higgins signed the result of last May’s landmark marriage referendum into the Constitution. The Thirty-Fourth Amendment of the Constitution (Marriage Equality) Bill 2015 was signed by the President at Áras an Uachtaráin yesterday evening.
The president’s signature amended the Constitution so that: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”
The amendment was put to the Irish people in a referendum on 22nd May and was passed by a margin of 62 percent (Yes) to 38 percent (No). Thanks to the overwhelming public vote, we set a precedent for equal rights for every couple in the country, and now it is finally a part of Irish law. Ireland spearheaded what was a positive campaign for all things equality, and the US followed suit a few weeks ago.
There had been some delay in enacting the result, as two legal challenges were brought against the referendum in early June, which were subsequently rejected.
Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald welcomed the signature by the President, and told the Irish Times:
“The government with introduce a Dáil bill next month that will make the necessary changes to allow the first such marriages to take place.”
“In the coming weeks, we will see the new Marriage Bill 2015 introduced to make the necessary changes in the law and to make it a reality that in Ireland in 2015, marriages will be possible between people without distinction as to their sex,” the minister said.
Glen, the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, also welcomed the move. Chairman Kieran Rose said it was a “ historic moment for LGBT people and everyone in Ireland.”
“After the joyful scenes that followed the resounding Yes vote last May, it is wonderful that President Higgins has signed the act and made the result official,” he said.
Prior to the result, a record number of people hit the polls to cast their votes; more voted in the referendum than any other in the history of the State, which was in itself a fantastic achievement.
It’s a great thing to know that same-sex couples can legally tie the knot.
Via Irish Times