- May 22, 2016
One year ago today, 62 percent of Irish voters voted ‘yes’ in the first-ever national referendum for marriage equality in the world. Ireland was the 18th country to decide to afford same-sex couples full marriage rights.
The referendum asked voters to approve language that updates Ireland’s constitution to state, “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with the law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.” Through an unprecedented voter registration campaign and voter mobilization effort by the Irish LGBT community, including the Yes Equality campaign, voters voted overwhelming for equality.
President of Ireland Michael Higgins signed the bill into law on August 25 and marriages began on November 16.
Director of HRC Global, Ty Cobb, was on the ground in Ireland with YouTube star Raymond Braun when the referendum passed.
While we celebrate this marriage equality victory, HRC recognizes the struggle of LGBT people around the world and we will continue to leverage our resources and experiences to advance the global equality movement.