Polls open across Ireland for same-sex marriage referendum
Polls have opened across Ireland for a referendum to decide whether same-sex marriage should be legal.
The Republic of Ireland is voting on a proposal to introduce civil same-sex marriage in the country.
Voters will be asked to approve an amendment to the Irish Constitution that states: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.” Making same-sex marriage legal requires this change to the constitution that can only be passed with a referendum.
Polls are open now and stay open until 10 PM.
Counting will take place on Saturday 23 May 2015 from 9am, with the result set to be declared in Dublin Castle.
According to reports, many expats have travelled back to Ireland to vote, as it is not possible to cast a vote from abroad. Those who have been out of Ireland for less than 18 months can vote.
The Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny last week said he thinks same-sex marriage will pass at the referendum later this month, but that it may be closer than previously anticipated.
A moratorium is in place across Ireland’s broadcast media that prevents discussion of same-sex marriage until the polls close.
Despite a consistent lead for the Yes campaign in the polls, there are fears that a stronger turnout among older religious voters, who are more likely to oppose equality, might sway the outcome.
Polling has consistently shown that at least 60 percent of people plan to vote in favour of equality, but campaigners warn that projections could be unreliable, citing the shock result in the recent UK Parliamentary elections.
The Irish Constitution requires referenda on a range of issues that would be usually passed by Parliaments in other countries.
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