Court rejects ‘pointless’ legal challenges stalling same-sex marriage in Ireland
The Court of Appeals in the Republic of Ireland has today dismissed challenged to the marriage referendum – that were delaying the first same-sex weddings.
In May, the Republic of Ireland became the first country in the world to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote, when people voted by 62.07 percent to 37.93 percent in favour of equality.
Following the landslide victory, Irish justice minister Frances Fitzgerald promised to implement the law as soon as possible, saying: “I am very conscious that many couples will want to get married as soon as possible. I am working to make that happen.”
However, attempts to implement weddings as soon as possible were hindered when multiple people launched nuisance legal challenges, in an attempt to stall further.
The Court of Appeals heard arguments today – and unsurprisingly found that the referendum was valid.
Tiernan Brady of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network live-tweeted the objectors’ testimony – including claims that the government “hid the truth about HIV and AIDS during the campaign”, that the ballot was “not simple enough”, and that it is “in conflict with the Christian ethos of the constitution”.
After eight hours, the Court of Appeals dismissed the challenges to the referendum and lifted a stay on action.
Activists celebrated the decision, and derided the “pointless” challenges.
However, the complainants still have 28 days to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, if they want to attempt to stall equality further.