Ireland has become the first country to legalise same-sex marriage after a popular vote.
The public of Ireland voted in a referendum on May 23 to legalise same-sex marriage, and the response was overwhelming.
The margin wasn’t close, with 62 per cent of votes embracing marriage equality.
The Catholic Church opposed the idea of same-sex marriage, but was overruled, with the majority of Ireland’s Catholic members voting against the Church’s formal opposition.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin opposed the legalisation of gay marriage, saying he was “deeply saddened by the result”.
The Guardian quotes Parolin as saying: “The church must take account of this reality, but in the sense that it must strengthen its commitment to evangelisation. I think that you cannot just talk of a defeat for Christian principles, but of a defeat for humanity.”
The outcome in Ireland has been embraced across the world as a resounding vote for equality.
Singer Sam Smith says he is pleased with the result, but feels it’s taken too long.
So happy Ireland have passed the law to get married there. Still genuinely shocks me thou, that this is only just happening!!
— SAM SMITH (@samsmithworld) May 23, 2015
Union J’s Jaymi Hensley tweeted an image showing rainbows over Dublin on the day of the vote.
— Jaymi Hensley (@JaymiUJWorld) May 23, 2015
Irish musican Hozier, best known for his hit single Take Me To Church, also showed his support for the vote.
The pure joy of it. I’m so proud of Ireland today… We can all take pride in making history. Only sorry I can’t be there to celebrate!
— Hozier (@Hozier) May 23, 2015
New Zealand passed a bill to legalise same-sex marriage in August 2013, after parliament voted in favour 77 to 44. This came 27 years after the decriminalisation of homosexuality.
Other countries have since followed, with pressure being put on neighbouring country Australia to follow.
Australian prime minister Tony Abbott not only feels pressure politically but personally. Abbott’s lesbian sister Christine Forster told Sky News: “I’d like something more from the current prime minister, who happens to be my brother.”
A map showing countries that have legalised same-sex marriage: