First same-sex weddings in Ireland to begin ‘in next few months’

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Ireland’s first same-sex weddings are set to take place in the next few months, the country’s Justice Minister has said.

The country overwhelmingly voted in favour of equality in May this year, in a public referendum on same-sex marriage.

The government had pledged to legislate to permit weddings as soon as possible – but the plans were hit by delays due to a legal challenge to the ruling and the Parliamentary recess.

However, Irish Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald finally brought forward a Marriage Bill this morning.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice said the weddings would still hopefully go ahead “before the end of this year”.

The spokesperson said: “The first same-sex marriages will be those of couples who convert a notification of their intention to register a civil partnership into a notification of their intention to marry.

“The aim is to have the Bill enacted as quickly as possible, subject to the legislative process, so that the first same-sex marriages can take place this year.”

Ireland’s government this month put its revolutionary new Gender Recognition Act into effect – meaning today transgender people can gain legal recognition without seeing a doctor.

The bold new Gender Recognition Bill, which passed through Parliament in July without issue, includes sweeping changes to allow transgender people to self-declare their gender.

The form to apply for an Irish GRC is just two pages long – compared to other countries, where the process is often full of bureaucratic hurdles. The two-page form compares to the five pages you’d have to fill out to replace a missing pensions book.