- The Republic of Ireland will be the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage through a national referendum, according to preliminary results from the election held Friday.
- While the votes haven't been fully tabulated, the reported margin of victory even in conservative districts is so overwhelming that even the leaders of the opposing campaign are conceding defeat, the Associated Press reports.
- Ireland is the 18th country to legalize marriage equality (or 21st, if you count England, Scotland, and Wales as separate countries. The UK as a whole doesn't count, as Northern Ireland still doesn't recognize same-sex marriages).
Polls indicate overwhelming "yes" vote in favor of same-sex marriage
Although only a fifth of constituencies have returned their official results thus far, the referendum looks set to pass by an overwhelming margin. According to the Guardian, current estimates suggest that close to 65 percent of voters voted to legalize same-sex marriage.
Opposition leader David Quinn, the director of the Iona Institute, has already conceded the vote, tweeting, "Congratulations to the yes side. Well done." The Iona Institute also issued a statement congratulating the yes supporters on their win.
Turnout was bolstered by the #hometovote campaign, which encouraged Irish citizens living abroad to return home to cast their ballots in the referendum.
As it became increasingly clear that the referendum was going to pass, jubilant Irish people took to Twitter to celebrate. Pictures purporting to show actual rainbows over Irish cities as the vote went on were particularly popular:
There's a big gay rainbow over Dublin, if that's not Jesus giving the Yes vote I don't know what is pic.twitter.com/p38LKtLgOv— Karl (@karltims) May 22, 2015
Wow. Go, Ireland! #hometovote "rainbow dominating the Dublin skyline by @Caolanmcaree #3eWeather pic.twitter.com/IVfGqz1eRl"— Amy Lesemann (@lesemann) May 22, 2015
Yes vote, Eurovision is on, Actual rainbow over Cork, This is now officially the gayest day in Irish history pic.twitter.com/wVtnEfWvTU— Gav (@miracleofsound) May 23, 2015
But people also had all sorts of other ways of celebrating. Like this one, from Ireland's Minister of State for Equality:
Ireland hasn't just said "Yes"... Ireland has said: "F❤️CK YEAAHHHH"— Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD (@AodhanORiordain) May 23, 2015
Today, Ireland is officially the other side of the Rainbow and it's beautiful here! #MarRef #YesVoted pic.twitter.com/pD0EZa7Kg0— Lunaghsa (@Lunaghsa) May 23, 2015
Thanks Ireland! From my rainbow socks to my belt & cardigan (I spent all last week crocheting) I'm so happy! #MarRef pic.twitter.com/UT8LxZkwyy— Tigger_the_Wing (@Tigger_the_Wing) May 23, 2015
Rainbow roses in Dublin ❤️ #Ireland #IrelandVoteYes #MarRef #MarRef2015 #equality #VoteYesForEquality pic.twitter.com/PnGnEQZj93— Orla Martin (@orlamartin) May 23, 2015