'Historic day' as gay marriage bill reaches Dáil
Published 24/09/2015 | 02:30
Same-sex couples in Ireland feel they are "equal citizens" for the first time as the landmark Marriage Bill was introduced in the Dáil, campaigners said.
Members of Marriage Equality gathered outside Leinster House yesterday before entering the Dáil gallery to "witness history unfold".
Grainne Healy, chair of the group, said it was a "historic day" for the gay community in Ireland.
"It's the end of a long journey - and for those of us in Marriage Equality - it took us 10 years to get here," she told the Irish Independent.
The bill - introduced by Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald - will go through a number of stages in the Dáil and the Seanad.
However, it paves the way for the first official same-sex marriages to take place before the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the latest legal challenge to the result of the referendum was thrown out by a judge in the High Court.
Gerry Walshe, an electrician of Lisdeen, Co Clare, had sought to quash the Referendum Returning Officer's decision to certify the result last August, which had the effect of formally confirming the outcome of the ballot.
Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan dismissed Mr Walshe's demands for several orders that would have frozen the proposed new legislation.
His application came after the Supreme Court last week refused to permit separate appeals by him and Maurice Lyons, from Callan, Co Kilkenny, against the rejection of their challenges to the Yes result.