In Catholic Ireland, same-sex couples will be able to marry in the future. In a referendum, the Irish voted by a large majority in favor of a corresponding amendment to the constitution.
According to the official final results, just under 62 percent of voters voted yes. Opponents conceded defeat shortly after vote counting began. It is the first introduction of "gay marriage" by referendum worldwide. So far it exists in 19 states. Prime Minister Enda Kenny, head of the Conservative government, spoke of a "pioneering act" by the Irish people. They said the high turnout shows how important such policy changes are.
Of the 3.2 million Irish eligible to vote, about 65 percent exercised their right to do so. Former leader of the co-ruling Irish Labour Party, Eamon Gilmore, called the outcome a "national act of inclusion". Health Minister Leo Varadkar called it a "social revolution".
Referendum outcome "very impressive"
The leader of the No campaign, David Quinn, congratulated the supporters and called the outcome of the referendum "very impressive". At the same time, the director of the Catholic-oriented Iona Institute noted critically that none of the political parties had supported the cause of those who were against "gay marriage. Good 734.000 voters voted against opening marriage to gay partnerships. Surveys already point in advance to a clear majority for the Verfangszusatz.
Until now, only a registered civil partnership was possible for same-sex couples in Ireland as well as in Germany. The country is traditionally Catholic. Abortions were punishable without exception until 2013, homosexuality until 1993. The scandal surrounding sexual abuse and mistreatment of children and young people in church institutions weighed particularly heavily on the island and massively weakened the position of the church in recent years. Catholic church representatives had spoken out clearly against "gay marriage" in the run-up to the event. The Irish Primate, Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, had stressed that there is a threat of the leading culture of a "gender-neutral" marriage, which will make it even more difficult to continue to represent the church's understanding of marriage and to reject legal equality