A law allowing gay and lesbian couples
to marry takes effect today in the Republic of Ireland.
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald
will sign the commencement order that brings the Marriage Act 2015
into legal effect. According to the Irish Independent, more
than 300 gay couples have lined up to marry.
But a 24-hour regulatory delay will
keep people waiting until Tuesday to exchange vows. The new law also
recognizes the foreign marriages of gay couples. Ireland will also
phase out civil partnerships, which first became available in 2011.
Couples in a civil partnership may
continue in that union or transfer their relationship to a marriage
but no new couples may enter a civil partnership.
In May, Ireland became the first nation
to legalize such unions by a popular vote.