Same-Sex Marriages Begin in Ireland

Ireland celebrates first gay marriages six months after landmark vote. Yay!!!
Ireland celebrated its first [same-sex] marriages on Tuesday, six months after [more than 62% of] voters overwhelmingly chose to legalize the practice in the traditionally conservative Catholic nation.

Dozens of couples nationwide converted their existing civil partnerships into full marriages in brief ceremonies in often less-than-romantic settings, such as antiseptic hospital offices where births and deaths also are recorded.

[Same-sex] marriage became officially legal Monday but the legislation required a minimum 24-hour notice to upgrade civil partnerships, while those seeking a legal union for the first time must wait a further three months to schedule their services.

Ireland's first couple to sign on the dotted line was lawyer Cormac Gollogly and bank official Richard Dowling, both 35.

..."It was great to get it done so early ... to be the first in Ireland," said Gollogly, who has been with Dowling for 12 years.

"There's something very surreal about it, because obviously we've done the civil partnership already," Dowling said. "But it really is so nice to have the full marriage, and I'm every bit as emotional."
Ireland is the 23rd country to legalize same-sex marriage, but the first nation to legalize it via popular vote. Woot!

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