Gay couples in Ireland should be able to marry before the end of the year after the country’s Supreme Court refused to allow an appeal following an unsuccessful legal challenge to May’s landmark same-sex marriage referendum. Ireland became the first country to adopt gay marriage via a popular vote, with the backing of 62 percent of voters, signaling a major change in attitudes in what was once a strongly Catholic and socially conservative society. The government had planned to enact the required laws by the end of July but was delayed after two men sought to challenge the outcome, one of whom said it had been unfairly influenced by government parties campaigning for a ‘Yes’ vote. The government will introduce the legislation when it returns from summer recess next week.
One of the men bringing the challenge, Maurice Lyons [photo], has previously been jailed for contempt of court after declaring that the government had no right to dissolve his holy marriage-in-Jesus.