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‘No one’s marriage is worth less’
More than 1200 same-sex couples have married in Ireland since the strongly Catholic country voted to allow gay couples to wed.
But there has been little other change since the laws came into effect on November 16, 2015.
While the capital Dublin erupted in a rainbow-coloured party the night the vote was counted, many of the concerns predicted by the No campaign failed to materialise.How to tell if a guy is a predator
There has been no legal push to further extend marriage to polygamous relationships.
Same-sex marriage has not been included in the compulsory curriculum for Christian schools.
And no businesses have been prosecuted for refusing to provide a service to a same-sex marriage (although one was across the border in Northern Ireland).Climate change harming health worldwide
“The sky most certainly didn’t fall in,’’ John Muir, a former Labour Party MP told News Corp.
“It’s like Ireland just got back to doing what it’s doing.
“No one’s marriage is worth less. No one is looking for extra layers of something ridiculous.Russia's Yakuti region plunges to -67C
“Life has carried on as normal.’’
Mr Muir, who is openly gay, campaigned with his mother for a Yes vote, and said the real benefits of the decisions would come in one or two generations’ time, when same-sex people marrying was considered a normal part of life.
The Irish Central Statistics Office said there were 1289 same-sex marriages in Ireland between November 2015 and March 2017.US chopper crash kills Zimbabwe politician
Christian advocacy group the Iona Institute led the No campaign, and remains deeply concerned at a lack of protections for religious freedoms.
The institute’s director and a columnist with the Sunday Times, David Quinn, said while churches could not be forced to perform a same-sex marriage, the legislation did not provide protection for other religious freedoms.
“At Catholic and Christian schools, will they be required to teach about same-sex marriage?’’ he asked.This people don't enjoy sex
“That hasn’t happened yet, but what if it does?’’
And while he said there had been no legal move towards allowing polygamy, apart from one Muslim man who asked for a second wedding performed in Lebanon to be recognised in Ireland, there was “a small amount of pressure towards polyamorous relationships’’
“At schools, the transsexual agenda is not compulsory but it is happening,’’ he said.‘The Butcher’: Man behind war crime
However, with Ireland facing a referendum to legalise abortion within 18 months, Mr Quinn said same-sex marriage had “gone off to the margins of public attention.’’
“Legalising same-sex marriage was never going to have much of an effect on ordinary people anyway. It doesn’t touch on average people directly,’’ he said.
“It all happened at once and any religious get-outs were extremely limited.’’Train brake was 'automatically activated'
The Irish experience most closely mirrors the vote in Australia, with the country holding a non-compulsory referendum in May 2015 which asked voters whether “marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex”.
The proposal was supported by all the major political parties, and 60.5 per cent of voters turned out.
The result was a resounding Yes, 62 per cent to 38 per cent voting in favour of allowing same-sex marriage.Japan suicide figures declining
It was an extraordinary turnaround in a country where homosexuality was decriminalised only in 1993, and where the Catholic Church — which asked its followers to vote No — once held enormous power.
Richard Dowling and Cormac Gollogly, now both aged 37, were the first couple to marry under the new laws, at 8.40am on November 17, 2015.Moon's approval down amid currency dispute
The pair, who had been together for 12 years, first had a civil partnership, when the passage of the legislation was unclear, but married under the new laws two months later.
Their civil partnership was celebrated in top-hat and tails, with a big group of guests and fireworks on a grand old Irish estate.
But their marriage was performed in the Births, Death and Marriages office inside a country hospital, in Clonmel in rural Ireland, in front of two roped-in witnesses, with journalists as their only guests.Starving, suffering in Kim’s army
They signed the marriage register on a hospital trolley.
Mr Gollogly, a commercial barrister, and Mr Dowling, a banker, told News Corp the legislation had sent a strong message of integration between the straight and gay communities.
“It’s become seamless, there’s no worry now,’’ Mr Dowling said.California mudslides toll expected to rise
“We were in town yesterday and we were arm-in-arm all day and no one looked twice.’’
Mr Gollogly said they hadn’t set out to be the first gay couple married but once it became likely, he was keen to make sure it happened quickly, and was legally OK.
“We’re united now, we can all get married, and ultimately let’s focus on the more important issues like trying to get by, trying to get a house, doing all those normal things instead of ‘where can we go tonight that’s safe’,’’he said.Filipinos may face Kuwait work ban
As 22-year-olds, they had met in Dublin’s famed gay bar, The George, when Mr Gollogly’s friends asked him what he was looking for in a partner.
He spotted a dark-haired stranger in the crowd and pointed at him, saying “that guy’’ - right at the moment Mr Dowling turned around.
Once Mr Gollogly recovered from his embarrassment, they hit the dance floor together, and have been a couple ever since.Lost MH370 sparks global flight tracking
Mr Gollogly said there had been “no difficulties’’ reported in the media since the laws were passed, with no pressure put on churches or on religious schools to teach gay marriage.
“All those what-nexts have not come to fruition.’’
The Netherlands was the first country to legislate for same-sex marriage in 2001, and at least 25 countries have followed, including: Argentina, Denmark, Greenland, South Africa, Belgium, England/Scotland/Wales, Iceland, New Zealand, Spain, Brazil, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Canada, France, Luxembourg, Portugal, United States, Colombia, Germany, Malta, Uruguay and some jurisdictions in Mexico.450kg WWII bomb found in Hong Kong
In June, Ireland elected its first openly-gay prime minister, the 38-year-old son of an Indian immigrant, Leo Varadkar.