Friday 22nd May 2015 saw the Republic of Ireland make history when Irish voters voted yes to legalise same sex marriage.
The anxiously awaited results of the referendum were revealed to the world on Saturday 23rd May 2015.
Ireland is the first country to approve same sex marriage through a popular vote which has been labelled as a social media revolution by many.
Votes were cast to amend the 78-year-old constitution to read:
“Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”
Out of the 43 parliamentary constituencies in the republic, only one voted against same sex marriage.
There was a high turnout of voters at the polling stations, in particular, a lot of younger voters which may show there is a divide in opinions between the young and the old and the traditional versus modern values when it comes to who/what constitutes a family.
In the run up to voting day, social media played a part in encouraging young Irish expatriates to go back to Ireland in time to vote using the hashtag #hometovote so they wouldn’t miss out on having their say.
Around the world, various celebrities including Sam Smith, Stephen Fry, Tom Daley, Dara O’Briain, Richard Branson and many more emphasised their support of the yes vote and published their thoughts on social media.
Ireland has now voted to fall in line with 21st century thinking where same sex couples will no longer be discriminated against because they don’t fit within the traditional ideals of the Catholic Church.
The yes vote also means that people currently in a civil partnership can convert their civil partnership into a marriage should they wish to do so.
Thanks to the yes vote, same sex couples in Ireland now have the same equal rights as married heterosexual couples as well as a sense of acceptance from their own country.
For more information, read our previous blog on the subject prior to the vote: Irish Same Sex Marriage Referendum.
Our family law solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK are experts in same sex marriages and civil partnerships and can give you legal advice before you commit to such a contract and also in the event of a separation.
For an initial consultation with a family lawyer call us on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help you.