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'Ireland is sending a real signal to other countries that change is possible'

Ireland has hit the headlines around the world after voting in favour of same-sex marriage.

Scenes in Dublin Castle on Saturday.
Scenes in Dublin Castle on Saturday.
Image: Photocall Ireland

“IRELAND IS A fantastic beacon of hope to other countries who are now what we were like in the 1980s and 1970s,” said Kieron Rose from the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN).

Following Saturday’s same-sex marraige referendum result, Ireland has hit the headlines around the world.

However, while many countries have same-sex marriage, many do not, and Ireland is being seen as a blueprint of how to forward the agenda in these countries.

Rose told TheJournal.ie that Saturday’s result “emphasises you can win a referendum like this. With determination you can deliver for your country”.

Source: Christina Finn/YouTube

He said Ireland has sent out a hopeful message to other countries who are still struggling with inequalities for the LGBT community.

“There has been a hugely positive reaction from other countries, particularly in Eastern Europe,” he said.

ILGA 

Brian Sheehan, co-director of the Yes Equality campaign said the world is watching Ireland, adding that representatives from the International lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex association (ILGA) are over in Dublin to see the campaign in action.

“All have been inspired by the scale of the involvement and the 1.2 million people who voted for this,” he said.

He said the countries such as Slovenia, Slovakia and Croatia are particularly keeping a close eye on events here, as they struggle to deal with marriage rights for gay people.

He said Poland is another key country taking a keen interest in Ireland, as it too is considered a “Catholic country” as Ireland often is.

Yesterday, Australia ruled out holding a referendum on gay marriage.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, the director of ILGA, Evelyn Paradis said the vote has “struck the imagination of countries outside Ireland, that such deep social change in the hearts and minds took place yesterday – it was amazing to see”.

She said it is particularly strong that it is coming from Ireland, a country that many may not consider or be known for having progressed on social issues very quickly.

“Ireland is sending a real signal that change is possible.”

A game changer 

Paradis said countries like Slovenia and Poland were particularly heartened by events in Ireland.

“I think it is going to be a real game changer for many countries in Europe.”

She commended the work of the Yes Equality campaign stating that they worked tirelessly to achieve their goal.

She said Ireland’s Yes campaign will be seen as a blue print for other nations on how to run a successful campaign.

“They really set the bench mark on how an equality campaign should be run. There have already been a number of requests from members of ILGA who want to hear more about how it all happened.”

Related: How did your constituency vote in the marriage referendum?

Related: Ireland has voted Yes to same-sex marriage>

AS IT HAPPENED: It’s official – Ireland says YES to same-sex marriage>

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