Ireland Votes to Approve Gay Marriage, Putting Country in Vanguard

New York Times, By Danny Hakim & Douglas Dalby, May 23

Dublin — Ireland has become the first nation to approve same-sex marriage by a popular vote, sweeping aside the opposition of the Roman Catholic Church in a resounding victory Saturday for the gay rights movement and placing the country at the vanguard of social change.

With ballots from 34 out of the 43 voting areas counted, the vote was almost two to one in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. All but one of the districts that were counted voted yes, and it appeared to be statistically impossible for opposition votes to overcome the ayes.

Turnout was large — more than 60 percent of the 3.2 million people eligible to vote cast ballots. Government officials, advocates and even those who had argued against the measure said that the outcome was a resounding endorsement of the constitutional amendment.

Irish Times: Marriage Referendum
Irish Times: Marriage Referendum Results
Irish Times: Ireland becomes first country to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote

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  • Conservative Australia Is Giving Up The Fight On Marriage Equality

    As it becomes increasingly likely that marriage equality in Australia will be a reality by the end of the year, prominent conservatives who have either stayed silent or fought against the issue appear to be laying down their arms.

    “The battle for same-sex marriage has been won.”

    Buzzfeed, By Rob Scott, May 27

    The issue of marriage equality has long laid dormant in the Australian parliament. But Sunday’s stunning victory for marriage equality in Ireland appears to have lit a fire under our federal representatives.

    This week Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young and opposition leader Bill Shorten both announced plans to introduce marriage equality bills to parliament. But it’s on the conservative side of politics where the path to equality has been blocked – Until now.

    As momentum builds the political right is quietly conceding defeat.

    Mr Abbott has always been an avowed opponent of same-sex marriage despite the fact that his sister is in a long-term same-sex relationship and is a prominent activist for marriage equality.

    While Mr Abbott’s opposition to the issue hasn’t changed, he appeared to concede defeat in parliament yesterday.

    Speaking in response to a marriage equality bill to be introduced by opposition leader Bill Shorten, Abbott said this is an issue that must be “owned by the parliament.”

    “If our Parliament were to make a big decision on a matter such as this, I want it to be owned by the Parliament, and not by any particular party,” Mr Abbott said.

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