ireland signs same-sex marriage bill into law
The first marriages between same-sex partners should take place in mid-November.
Five months after Ireland became the first country ever to legalise gay marriage through a popular vote, the country's historic Marriage Bill 2015 has been signed into law. The first marriage ceremonies between same-sex couples in Ireland should be able to take place by mid-November, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has confirmed.
On 22nd May, the people of Ireland voted 62.1% in favour of recognising marriage between two citizens "without distinction as to their sex". The result was especially remarkable given that homosexuality was only decriminalised in Ireland in 1993. Evelyne Paradis of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association heralded the role of Ireland's political leaders in pushing forward the Marriage Bill 2015, saying: "Tribute must also be paid to national politicians in Ireland, as all the main political parties put aside their partisan differences to campaign for the greater goal of equality."
Meanwhile, Senator Katherine Zappone, whose marriage to her Canadian wife will now be recognised under Irish law, described the bill becoming law as "a deeply emotional moment for those of us who have campaigned for so long. This victory truly belongs to the nation, it is a moment for us all." Australia, get a move on!
Text Nick Levine
Photography William Murphy