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Friday 17 November 2017

'Truly historic day' - First same sex marriages in mid-November as Marriage Bill 2015 finally passes

President Michael D Higgins now has up to seven days to sign the bill into law

People gathered at Dublin Castle as the results of the same-sex marriage referendum were counted. Photo: PA
People gathered at Dublin Castle as the results of the same-sex marriage referendum were counted. Photo: PA
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

JUSTICE Minister Frances Fitzgerald said the “Green jersey turned rainbow” as legislation allowing same sex marriage for the first-time finally passed through the Oireachtas.

Speaking outside Leinster House, Ms Fitzgerald said the passing of the Marriage Bill 2015 was “truly historic day”.

The president now has between five and seven days to sign the bill into law and the first same sex marriages will be able to take place in mid-November.

Surrounded by Fine Gael, Labour and Independent politicians, the minister said: “It has been a long journey but today is a good riposte for the prejudice of the past”.

Standing beside Ms Fitzgerald, former Education Minister Ruairi Quinn thanked Fine Gael for agreeing to the Labour Party’s proposal to have marriage equality as part of the Coalition’s Programme for Government.

Ms Fitzgerald said many people contributed to the passing of the referendum but paid a special tribute to Senator David Norris for his campaign on gay rights for more than four decades.

She said many people suffered and left Ireland because of the prejudice towards gay people.

Speaking at a separate press conference, Tánaiste Joan Burton said it is a day of “great emotion” and “political achievement” for the people of Ireland.

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