Ireland legalizes gay marriage in landslide poll

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Dublin: Ireland becomes the first country to approve gay marriage in a popular national vote. Nineteen other countries have legalized the practice through their legislatures and courts.

Ireland’s citizens have voted in a landslide to legalize gay marriage, electoral officials announced Saturday — a stunningly lopsided result that illustrates what Catholic leaders and rights activists alike called a “social revolution.”

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Friday’s referendum saw 62.1 percent of Irish voters say “yes” to changing the nation’s constitution to define marriage as a union between two people regardless of their sex. Outside Dublin Castle, watching the results announcement in its cobblestoned courtyard, thousands of gay rights activists cheered, hugged and cried at the news.

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