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Ireland gay marriage vote: Country awaits result after 'unusually high' turnout in same-sex referendum

Some areas of the country saw an electorate turnout of over 60 per cent

Louis Dore
Saturday 23 May 2015 12:03 BST
Lesbian couple Helen Brassil and Sharon Webb after casting their vote
Lesbian couple Helen Brassil and Sharon Webb after casting their vote (PA)

The Republic of Ireland is awaiting the result of a referendum on same-sex marriage which would see same-sex marriage legalised 22 years after homosexual acts were decriminalised in Ireland.

Irish state broadcaster RTE reported an “unusually high” turnout on Friday as polling stations closed at 22:00 BST.

Dublin, Limerick and Waterford passed 60 per cent electorate turnout in a referendum which, if passed, would make Ireland the first country to legalise same-sex marriage by a popular vote.

Irish citizens who are registered are allowed to vote, but due to no postal voting in the referendum, many people have returned to Ireland simply for the purposes of casting their votes.

Voters were asked whether they agree with the statement: "Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”

Only 18 other countries worldwide have already legalised gay marriage, including the United Kingdom with the exception of Northern Ireland.

The United States and Mexico currently have regional legislation permitting same-sex marriage, but have yet to legalise throughout the country.

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