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Religious Tolerance logo

Same-sex marriages (SSM), civil unions, etc.

Outline map of Ireland 1

1993 to 2015: Ireland: The successful effort to
make marriage available to same-sex couples.

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LGBT symbol 2015-MAY-22: Same-sex marriage (SSM) comes to Ireland:

The country of Ireland held a referendum on 2015-MAY-22. The Irish public voted in favor of marriage equality by a significant majority.

  • There were 1,201,607 Yes votes (62.1%) in favor of allowing same-sex couples to marry, compared with 734,300 No votes (37.9%).

  • The total turnout was 60.5 per cent of all registered voters. 1 This is an impressive number because about 90% of the Irish adult population have a heterosexual orientation, have no feelings of sexual attraction to members of the same sex, and are thus not directly affected by same-sex marriage.

  • Ireland became the 21st country in the world to legalize same sex marriage. 2

  • The countries of Northern Ireland and Australia remain the only large predominately English-speaking countries that still restrict marriage to opposite-sex couples. The public in these countries heavily favor allowing same-sex couples to marry and are expected to approve same-sex marriage within the next few years.

  • The Government of Ireland anticipated the positive vote on marriage before the referendum was held. Work on a bill to allow same-sex couples to marry was started before the vote was held. It will be fast-tracked so that it will be in place by the end of July. The schedule calls for same-sex couples to be able to marry as soon as 2015-SEP.

    The Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, said:

    "I am very conscious that many couples will want to get married as soon as possible. I am working to make that happen."

    The bill will also state that faith groups will be free to discriminate against same-sex couples by refusing to marry them if they wish. 3

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Topics covered in this section:

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The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above menu. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Tresha Barrett, "Ireland Votes ‘Yes’ To Legalizing Same Sex Marriage In Historic Referendum," Inquisitr, 2015-MAY-23, at:
  2. Olivia B. Waxman, "20 Other Countries Where Same-Sex Marriage Is Legal Nationwide," Time magazine, 2015-MAY-23, at:
  3. Harry McGee, "Bill allowing gay marriage to be enacted by end of July," The Irish Times, 2015-MAY-26, at:

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Site navigation: Home page > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > SSM Menu > here

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Copyright © 2004 to 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2004
Latest update: 2015-MAY-28
Author: B.A. Robinson

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