[JURIST] On Saturday Ireland became the first country to legalize [USA Today] same-sex marriage by national referendum. The results showed that 62.1% of voters were in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. The traditionally conservative Catholic country surprised the international community and moved from criminalizing homosexuality to embracing same-sex marriage rights in a little over two decades. The Constitution of Ireland [text] will now be changed to allow same-sex couples to be legally wed. Praise for the decision came from both the Irish community and many international supporters.
Same-sex couples have varied marriage rights throughout the world. In January the US Supreme Court agreed [JURIST report] to rule on same-sex marriage, granting certiorari in four separate cases, and heard arguments [JURIST report] on one case in late April. A decision is expected by the end of June. In August Ugandan Attorney General Peter Nyomb filed [JURIST report] an appeal against the constitutional court ruling that struck down the nation’s anti-homosexuality law. Last January the Nigerian president signed [JURIST report] the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act into law, banning same-sex marriage and criminalizing same-sex relationships. Similar laws exist in Singapore and Jamaica [JURIST reports].