A month before the United States Supreme Court’s historic ruling on marriage equality, 62 percent of Irish voters voted ‘yes’ in the first-ever referendum for marriage equality in the world. Ireland was the 21st country to decide to afford same-sex couples full marriage rights.
 
The bill was signed into law in November and same-sex couples began tying the knot later that month.
 
HRC was proud to be on the ground in Ireland, partnering with the Irish coalition YES Equality, a campaign comprised of GLEN, Marriage Equality, and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties. The campaign played an integral role in ensuring the "yes" vote on the Marriage Equality referendum. Staff from HRC met with Irish advocates to share best practices and offer support for the campaign. Additionally, HRC released a new t-shirt and all net proceeds were donated to the campaign for public education on equality. 
 
 
It wasn’t just Ireland and the U.S. that celebrated marriage equality in 2015.  In June, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, paving the way for a court-based legal strategy to compel states without marriage equality to clear the way for same-sex marriages. Both Cyprus and Chile passed civil union legislation in 2015, but stopped short of full marriage equality.
 
While marriage equality expanded, LGBT communities still face discrimination, persecution and violence. For example, 75 countries criminalize same-sex relationships and record number of transgender people were murdered this year.
 
HRC Global is committed to creating a safe space for LGBT communities, advocating for the social welfare of LGBT people around the globe. We hope that 2016 will bring more visibility, understanding and acceptance for LGBT people everywhere.
 
Counting down to 2016, HRC is celebrating our greatest milestones and victories in 2015. It has been another incredible year for LGBT equality and we could not have done it without you -- our members, readers and supporters--and we look forward to continuing our work in 2016. Stay tuned for more highlights from 2015.


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