Ireland says YES: 62.1% vote in favour of same sex marriage

Ireland has voted to legalize same-sex marriage, with 62.1% backing the proposed change to the country's constitution. Counting began this morning following yesterday's historic referendum, as Ireland became the first country to hold a public vote on marriage equality. CFtBWrlWAAAhEIy Final figures show that with a national turnout of 60.5%, 1,201,607 voted in support. Of the 43 constituencies, only Rosscommon-South Leitrim recorded an overall 'No' vote, with 51.42% voting against the proposed change. The 'Yes' vote received totals of 70% plus in constituencies, with a high of 74.9% in Dublin South East. CFtBWrBWoAAZGR3 The result comes 22 years after Ireland became one of the last counties in the Western World to decriminalize homosexuality in 1993. The Civil Partnership Act was introduced in 2010, while the referendum was first agreed to in 2013. Minister for Health Leo Varadkar, who came out as gay at the start of the year, said: "We're the first country in the world to enshrine marriage equality in our constitution and do so by popular mandate. That makes us a beacon, a light to the rest of the world, of liberty and equality. So it's a very proud day to be Irish. "People from the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community in Ireland are a minority. But with our parents, our families, or friends and co-workers and colleagues, we're a majority. Varadkar added: "For me it wasn't just a referendum. It was more like a social revolution." CFs46SSUkAA4ZWt Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD, Ireland's Minister of State for Equality, celebrated the equal rights victory on Twitter, writing that he was "so proud to be Irish today". Senator Katherine Zappone reacted to the victory by re-proposing to her partner Dr Ann Louise Gilligan on live TV, while campaigner Panti Bliss was among those celebrating the victory at Dublin Castle. Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin responded to the result by declaring that the Catholic Church "needs to do a reality check". "I appreciate how gay and lesbian men and women feel on this day. That they feel this is something that is enriching the way they live. I think it is a social revolution," he told RTÉ. Celebrities including Sir Ian McKellen, Graham Norton, Sam Smith and JK Rowling have been among those reacting to the news online throughout the day, while hashtags including 'Proud to be Irish' and 'Equality for All' took over Twitter. More Stories: Ireland’s same-sex marriage referendum: Touching message of support from nine-year-old found in ballot box Maths teacher-turned-model Pietro Boselli is Attitude's new cover guy