On May 23, the
luck love of the Irish kicked in when the country likely voted in favor of marriage equality. According to Leo Varadkar, a Cabinet minister who's watching the counting of the votes, not a single district has voted majority "no." Varadkar himself is gay.
The official tally will be announced later today, but many people are already celebrating.
While in the US, the legalities of marriage equality are decided by state votes or judges’ rulings, Ireland changed the game by having voters across the nation vote on the issue of marriage equality -- and they're the first country in the world to do so.
Not only is Ireland bucking international trends when it comes to legalizing same-sex marriage, but the traditionally Catholic country has also come a long way in a matter of years. Just 22 years ago, “homosexual acts” remained a crime in Ireland.
While early polls were initially pointing to a “yes” vote (“yes” meaning in favor of marriage equality), that doesn't mean it wasn't controversial. People for and against marriage equality were very vocal in the days leading up to the vote, including influential leaders.
Taoiseach (AKA Prime Minister) Enda Kenny called for people to accept marriage equality and shared a tweet of himself and his wife, Fionnuala O'Kelly:
On the other side of the political fence, Pat Storey, who is the first woman to be Anglican bishop in Ireland, England, Scotland or Wales, said she was against marriage equality. “You cannot redefine marriage without including information and reference to children, family and the good of society,” she said. “It is my view that, where possible, children benefit most from both genders parenting them.”
However, by the looks of it, many Irish citizens feel that marriage equality actually makes society better. Congrats Ireland! And yeah, we know, we're next.
With additional reporting by Danica Davidson.