A day after voters headed to the polls,
both sides in Ireland's same-sex marriage debate acknowledge that
heavily Catholic Ireland will become the first country in the world
to approve such unions through a public vote. The only question that
remains is by what margin.
High voter turnout appears to have
helped the “yes” side.
Leo Varadkar, Ireland's health minister
who came out gay during the campaign, said that Dublin voters
overwhelmingly backed the measure.
“We're the first country in the world
to enshrine marriage equality in our constitution and do so by
popular mandate,” he said. “That makes us a beacon, a light to
the rest of the world of liberty and equality. It's a very proud day
to be Irish.”
The AP predicted a “resounding”
victory, while other outlets described it as a “landslide.”
All of Ireland's major political
parties endorsed a yes vote, as did many political figures, including
Prime Minister Enda Kenny.
“For gay sons&daughters,
brothers&sisters, family&friends, Yeats said it best, 'Tread
softly because you tread on my dreams.' #MarRef,” Kenny tweeted on
In offering “warm congratulations,”
Mothers & Fathers Matter, a group which campaigned against
passage, suggested that allowing gay couples to marry would harm
“We offer our warm congratulations
to the YES campaign on their victory,” the group said. “Today's
result was achieved by the Government after they issued certain
promises about surrogacy, adoption, and a range of other issues. A
lot of voters believed those assurances and they must now be kept.”