Marriage Equality

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Ireland Says Yes

On 22 May 2015, Ireland became the first country in the world to endorse full civil marriage equality for all its people, regardless of their sexual orientation, by popular vote. In the historic ballot the Irish electorate voted by 62.1% to 37.9% to endorse an amendment to the Irish Constitution asserting that “‘marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”

Amnesty International has, since 2007, called on all States to end discrimination in civil marriage laws based upon sexual orientation or gender identity. At our annual conference in 2008, our membership here in Ireland mandated the section to actively campaign for civil marriage equality in line with this global policy. We worked with partner to present the human rights argument for marriage equality at the Constitutional Convention in 2013. Together with partners, we campaigned for a yes vote in the referendum in May 2015.

Ireland’s proud and joyful commitment to equality for LGBTI people here has sent a powerful signal to Putin’s Russia, to Museveni’s Uganda, and to governments and states which continue to discriminate against LGBTI people and violate their human rights. Most importantly it sends a message of hope to those people around the world who fight for justice, freedom and equality.

Love does not discriminate, and neither should our laws. If a state decides to recognise, protect and value loving, intimate, committed relationships in its laws, it should not deny this recognition to some just because of their sexual orientation.

Article 1, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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