Despite landslide victory, Ireland’s first same-sex weddings could be delayed until 2016

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Gay and lesbian couples in Ireland waiting to marry following the country’s historic referendum result might be facing a growing delay, amid a legal challenge.

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.

“My intention is to seek Government approval for the Marriage Bill 2015 in June with the aim of introducing the Bill into the Oireachtas immediately thereafter so that the legislation can be enacted before the summer recess.”

However, amid likely-pointless legal action from opponents over the result of the referendum, the Irish Times is reporting that the first weddings could be pushed back until 2016.

A government source told the newspaper: “Our hands are tied. We are at the mercy of the courts.

“We are ready to go when the referendum result is final but it looks like we are a long way from that point.

“Best-case scenario, we can have the legislation enacted by the end of July. Worst-case scenario, we could be talking potentially months of delay.”