(Blogmensgo, gay blog of 16 November 2015) Frances Fitzgerald, the Irish Minister of Justice, today ratified the official entry into force of same-sex marriage. The first marriages simply occurred without any celebration – and here is why.
Below is a video of the parliamentarian vote of 22 October 2015, almost unanimously confirming the bill that institutes same-sex marriage in Ireland.
From now on, all couples legally married abroad will be recognized in Ireland without any special ceremony.
For administrative reasons, all other gay and lesbian couples will have to wait 24 hours before they can marry. About 300 same-sex couples are expected to get married in the next two weeks. Some observers are anticipating a wave of “Christmas weddings” this year.
The first gay weddings will happen as early as tomorrow, 17 November 2015, in three of the four largest Irish cities (Dublin, Cork and Galway).
The first in line to wed will likely be those couples who had requested a civil partnership and have now opted for full marriage.
Couples who had asked for civil partnership before 16 November can still receive their partnership as expected. However, from now on, no new civil partnership requests will be accepted because civil partnerships have now been replaced by same-sex marriage.
Couples in civil partnership may choose to keep their partnership as it is or have it transformed to fully valid marriage via a civil wedding ceremony. Between April 2011 and end of 2014, 1048 gay and 647 lesbian civil partnerships were registered in Ireland.
Religious wedding ceremonies are optional, and priests may choose not to hold same-sex wedding ceremonies. Before the referendum of 22 May 2015, the Catholic Church, which has a very large majority in Ireland, had opposed gay marriage very strongly and openly.