A landmark public vote in Ireland yesterday resulted in a huge endorsement of marriage equality, with 62% of the 1.9 million voters choosing “yes”.
After the vote counting finished in Dublin, a huge bright rainbow adorned the city.
A large crowd gathered at Dublin Castle to hear the news. The crowd erupted into jubilant celebrations after the winning announcement was made.
Ireland has an electorate of more than 3 million. In the marriage equality vote, 1,201,607 backed the reform, while 734,300 voters said No.
Irish leader Enda Kenny said the result meant that “a majority of people in this republic have stood up” for the LGBT community.
“In the privacy of the ballot box, the people made a public statement. With today’s vote we have disclosed who we are,” Kenny said.
“We are a generous, compassionate, bold and joyful people who say yes to inclusion, yes to generosity, yes to love, yes to gay marriage.”
Irish drag queen and campaigner Panti Bliss said: “It’s not that Ireland has changed today, but that Ireland has confirmed the change that we already knew had happened.”
Ireland Catholic Church led ‘no’ campaign
The significant margin in favour surprised many people as Ireland is a traditionally conservative Catholic population.
The country’s Catholic Church led a “vote no” campaign against marriage equality during the vote.
After the vote was decided, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said, “Perhaps the church needs to take a reality check”.
But meanwhile in Australia, marriage equality is unfortunately still not a reality.
Marriage equality advocates will be returning to Canberra in the coming days to seek support for change in Australia.