Ireland has become the first country to legalize same-sex civil marriage by popular vote, with 62.1 percent in favor of the legal union between two people “without distinction as to their sex.”
This happened in May at a Referendum that has written another page in the history of the LGBT community.
But today the law came into effect, and same-sex couples of the Republic of Ireland can now get married. The law recognizes same-sex marriages that were legalized abroad immediately, and this brings joy to many couples.
Orla Howard and her wife Dr Grainne Courtney got married in the USA, but they live in Ireland. From today on their marriage is recognized by the state of the country they live in as well.
Ms Howard is very excited and she expressed her feelings to BBC Northern Ireland:
“It’s a terrific moment, because our marriage will be the same as any straight couple’s marriage from Monday morning,”
“It will bring all of the rights and protections that marriage brings, from the constitutional point of view, to our family and that’s one of the key things for us.”
The couples who are in a civil partnership in Ireland can now apply to legalize their partnership, and they can submit their intention to marry few days prior to the event. However, other couples must apply three months before a marriage. Couples who have previously submitted their intentions to marry may be the first to change their status. Since 2011, when Ireland legalized same-sex unions, 2054 couples decided to change their status into civil partnership.
The new law will not affect civil partners, but new applications for civil partnership will no longer be accepted. The Marriage Act 2015 includes the civil marriage alone, and Irish churches or religious organizations cannot be obliged to perform ceremonies.
It was a long battle for the LGBT community in Ireland to come to this point, but now we can add up one more step to making the world realize we have the same rights as any other citizen of this world, and making a partnership legal is more than just a union of love. Same-sex married couples have the right to be protected by the law as any other married couples.