Saturday, May 23, 2015


Ireland Gay Marriage Referendum: 'Yes' Campaign Poised for Victory

Ireland Votes on Historic Same-Sex Marriage Referendum

Nightly News
DUBLIN - Ireland appeared to have become the first country in the world to vote for gay marriage Saturday after both sides in its referendum declared a resounding victory for 'Yes' campaigners.

There was a mood of excitement in Dublin as early results showed a high turnout and a strong lead for 'Yes' votes.

Senior figures in the "No" campaign, who sought to prevent Ireland's constitution from being amended to permit same-sex marriage, said the only question was how large the "Yes" side's margin of victory would be. David Quinn, director of the conservative Iona Institute, conceded defeat and congratulated the 'Yes' side.
"There is going to be a very substantial majority for a 'Yes' vote. I'm not at all surprised by that to be honest with you," said Irish Sen. Ronan Mullen, one of only a handful of politicians who campaigned for rejection.

Political analyst Noel Whelan noted that "yes" majorities were being reported even in conservative rural districts and suggested the only question was how large the "yes" majority would be when all ballots in this predominantly Catholic nation of 4.6 million are counted.
Image: Ireland Holds Referendum On Same Sex Marriage Law Charles McQuillan / Getty Images
A Yes campaigner in favour of same-sex marriage takes a selfie at the RDS count centre on May 23, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland.

Government minister Leo Varadkar predicted that voters in the capital had endorsed gay marriage by about 70 percent against 30 percent against.
Official results in the poll, which pitted liberal forces against Ireland's conservative Catholic foundation, are expected later Saturday.

Polling station officials said Ireland could top 60 percent turnout nationally for the first time since the country narrowly voted to legalize divorce in 1995, but was unlikely to reach the 68 percent achieved when the Irish voted to ease access to foreign abortions in 1992.

Backers of gay marriage had hoped for high turnout, reflecting strong participation by young and first-time voters.


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