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Ireland Conduct Referendum Over Same-Sex Marriage

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For the first time since the issue of gay marriage became a world topic, the Republic of Ireland has become the first nation to decide by the use of a referendum whether or not to legalise same sex marriage in the country.

The voting started at about 7:00am on Friday, May 22, 2015 and is scheduled to close at 10:00pm while counting starts on Saturday, May 23, 2015. More than 3.2 million people of the country’s population are casting their votes either for or against the amendment of the country’s constitution to accommodate gay and lesbian couples in terms of marriage.

So far, only 19 countries world over have legalised same sex marriage.

This referendum is coming 22 years after homosexuality was no longer considered a criminal offence in Ireland. The government did not allow for postal voting so quite a number of Irish citizens returned home to cast their votes.

The question they will be asked is whether or not they agree with the statement that: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex”.

The government made provision for the recognition of gay couples known as the civil partnership legislation in 2010. However there are significant and important differences between marriage and civil partnership, most importantly the fact that marriage is constitutionally protected while the other is not.

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