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Sealed with a kiss: delighted couples celebrate big step towards equality

SAME-sex couples around the country last night celebrated taking a historic step towards marriage equality.

More than 250 people gathered in Dublin city centre to welcome the landmark endorsement by the Constitutional Convention of gay marriage yesterday.

They expressed their delight to see the reform body vote 79pc in favour to recommend the government move to provide recognition for same-sex couples.

But many insisted there is still a "long way to go".

LGBT Noise spokesperson Max Kryzanowski said the positive decision was "only a hurdle in a long marathon".

Speaking at the group's organised 'kiss-in', he told the Irish Independent there was "a very long journey to travel before equality is a reality in Ireland".

Dublin couple Colin Byrne and Keith Browne have been together for five years and said they were "thrilled" with the outcome. "We have come on so much, but it's a slow process," Mr Browne said.

"Marriage and kids just seemed like something that would never happen for us, but we want our commitment recognised like everybody else."

Siobhan Cafferty and Caroline Gardner said the result was an emotional one for them and their two-year-old daughter Esa, as it meant they were closer to being legally recognised as a family.

"It's huge because we don't have equal rights as parents and that's incredibly important to us," said Caroline.

Irish Independent