Same-sex weddings in Ireland by next month

A majority voted for same-sex marriage in the Republic's referendum in May
A majority voted for same-sex marriage in the Republic's referendum in May

The gay marriage bill in the Republic of Ireland has passed all stages of the Irish Parliament and will now be passed to the president to be signed into law.

Irish Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said that as a result there will soon be Christmas weddings of people who thought they would never be allowed to marry.

She said the first same-sex marriages in Ireland will take place from the middle of next month.

She described the day as “joyous” and “truly historic”.

Ms Fitzgerald said the journey has not ended, and the people’s decision in the referendum of May 22 was a powerful riposte to the prejudices of the past.

The minister said the decision has sent a message that homophobia is not acceptable.

Citing former US president John F Kennedy, she said: “Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

Senator Ronan Mullen said that it should not have taken a referendum on marriage to signal united horror at homophobia.

He said that it is important to be magnanimous in defeat.

Meanwhile, it was revealed that an ad voiced by Liam Neeson as part of a campaign to legalise abortion in Ireland led to a backlash against the actor.

A petition has been launched online, which has over 1,700 signatures, claiming that Liam Neeson “wants Irish women to be able to kill their unborn babies”.