It's starting: marriage for same-sex couples begins today in Ireland

The world has its first country that offers marriage equality for same-sex couples as a result of a vote of the people. Ireland last May made international headlines by voting "yes" for marriage equality. Now, marriage equality in Ireland is the law of the land when a referendum voted on last May resulted in favor of marriage equality for same sex couples by a 62-38 percent margin.

Since then, on September 23, the legislative process of the Marriage Bill 2015 was started in the Dáil Éireann (lower house). It was then completed on October 20 in the Seanad (Senate) Éireann when Irish President Higgins by the ‘Presidential Commission’ signed the bill making it an official Act. Last Tuesday, November 10th, Minister of Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald and Tánaiste Joan Burton signed the commencement order for the Marriage Act 2015 at Dublin Castle. This commencement takes effect today allowing LGBT to officially marry all over Ireland.

Check out how people in Ireland and all over the world are celebrating this historic day for the LGBT community below:

Let the cake baking and hat buying begin....marriage is now open to all in Ireland...welcome to the new Ireland.

Posted by GLEN - GAY AND LESBIAN EQUALITY NETWORK on Monday, November 16, 2015

GLAAD worked with the YesEquality campaign, providing the best practices from the marriage equality referenda in the United States, to encourage Irish people to vote in favor of marriage equality. GLAAD's President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis, also contributed a video to the #VoteWithUs campaign, highlighting her Irish heritage and calling on Ireland to be a global leader in marriage equality. The National Library of Ireland will include the whole collection of the #VoteWithUs campaign in their archive on the 2015 Marriage Referendum.

There has been a great transformation in the status of LGBT people in Ireland over the past two decades. 21 years ago the law reform decriminalized gay people. That was followed by equality legislation which ensured that people could not be discriminated against in employment on the basis of their sexual orientation. This step puts Ireland alongside the United States and 18 other countries that now have full marriage equality in 2015.