Same-sex marriage was signed into law in Ireland, five months after a historic referendum saw the traditionally Catholic nation become the world’s first country to vote for gay unions.
“The Presidential Commission today signed the ‘Marriage Bill 2015’ into law,” the president’s office said in a statement, paving the way for the first weddings within a month.
Ireland voted 62.1 percent in favour of allowing marriage between two people “without distinction as to their sex” in May, the first time anywhere that gay marriage has been legalized in a referendum.
The president’s endorsement was the final hurdle for the bill after legal challenges briefly delayed the legislation from coming into effect.
The first ceremonies should be possible by mid-November, according to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald.
Senator Katherine Zappone, who had long campaigned for her Canadian marriage to her wife to be recognised in Ireland, called it “a defining moment”.
“It is a deeply emotional moment for those of us who have campaigned for so long,” Zappone said in a statement.
“This victory truly belongs to the nation, it is a moment for us all.”
In a memorable moment that unfolded live on national television after the referendum result was announced, Zappone proposed to her wife Ann Louise Gilligan to re-marry her under Irish law.
International gay rights campaigners congratulated efforts by Irish activists to win public support for a “Yes” vote in the referendum.
“Tribute must also be paid to national politicians in Ireland, as all the main political parties put aside their partisan differences to campaign for the greater goal of equality,” Evelyne Paradis of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association said in a statement.
Marriages between same sex couples that took place outside of Ireland will now be recognised under Irish law.
Couples already in civil partnerships, which were introduced in Ireland in 2011, will be able to marry within weeks.
May’s referendum generated a lively, and at times divisive, debate in Ireland, which only decriminalised homosexual acts in 1993.
“The referendum confirmed that Irish people want a society that embraces diversity while valuing the family and marriage,” Fitzgerald said last week, as the bill passed through the upper house of parliament.
“On 22 May 2015, the people of Ireland showed the scale of their ambition for our society.”
President Michael D Higgins is on a visit to the United States, so in his place the bill was signed by senior delegates of the Presidential Commission.
‘Do you love Puerto Rico?’: Fox News’ Shep Smith rips governor to shreds
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló was outed for cold and heartless comments he exchanged about his own island in wake of the horrific hurricanes that destroyed the island in 2017. He's also being forced to ask questions about the corruption involving the funding for hurricane relief. Nearly 1 million people have taken to the streets demanding accountability and action.
In his first interview, Rosselló may have assumed he'd meet a friendly audience on Fox News, but Shep Smith let him have it.
"The corruption is rampant in Puerto Rico," Smith said. "Economically Puerto Rico is in a fiscal crisis, $70 billion in debt and a 13-year recession. In the leaked 900 pages of profanity-laced messages, dubbed RickyGate, after you, sir, you made light of the casualties of the Hurricane Maria, you tossed homophobic and misogynistic remarks, You were calling the former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverit a whore. Of the oversight board that rules Puerto Rico's finances, you said, 'Go F-yourself. And when your representative to that board said he is salivating to shoot the woman who is the mayor of San Juan, you said, 'You’d be doing me a grand favor.' So, attacks on woman, gays, dead relatives on your own island and after that who is left to support you? Is it even safe for you to govern?"
Puerto Ricans launch biggest protest yet against governor
Angry protesters blocked the main road in Puerto Rico's capital on Monday as they launched what was expected to be the largest yet of a wave of demonstrations seeking the resignation of the US territory's embattled governor.
Marching under sunny skies in San Juan, the demonstrators sang, chanted, danced and carried the territory's red, white and blue flag with a lone star.
Altogether, hundreds of thousands were expected to turn out.
Puerto Ricans are up in arms over alleged corruption involving money meant to be for victims of Hurricane Maria in 2017, which left nearly 3,000 dead.
‘Simply astonishing’: Retired general sounds the alarm on Trump’s ‘utter breakdown’ in foreign policy process
Ret. Gen. Barry McCaffrey on Monday sounded the alarm on President Donald Trump's foreign policy team, which he said had shown no indications that it is capable of dealing with a real crisis on the world stage.
While appearing on MSNBC, McCaffrey was asked about a quote from former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in which he said that the entire Trump foreign policy team is being held hostage to the president's impulsive tweets.
"I think the most important thing Panetta said here was the utter breakdown of a national security process," he explained. "It's simply astonishing! [Defense Secretary nominee Mark] Esper still hasn't been confirmed, you've had a series of acting secretaries of defense, no one really understands what [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo, who is a very intelligent person, is up to."