Photo Illustration by Emil Lendof/The Daily Beast
By JP O’ Malley
Marriage for same sex couples is presently legally recognized in 17 countries across the globe, as well as a number of U.S. states. On May 22, the Irish electorate will be asked to make world history: becoming the first country, ever, to pass a referendum where citizens democratically decide to guarantee same-sex marriage in its constitution.
The proposed amendment applies to Article 41 of the Irish Constitution. And it wants to insert the following line: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”
In layman’s terms, this means that a marriage between two people of the same sex will have identical rights under the Irish Constitution that a marriage between a man and a woman currently has.
Married couples of either the opposite sex, or the same sex, will thus be entitled to equal constitutional protection for families, if the amendment is passed.
For a state that was, up until the early 1990s, a de-facto theocracy, this is a pretty big deal.
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