The history of marriage equality in Ireland

A social revolution begins

Author: Sonja Tiernan

Ireland was the first country to extend marriage to same-sex couples through a public vote. This book records the political campaign and strategy that led to this momentous event in 2015, from the origins of a gay rights movement in a repressive Ireland through to the establishment of the Yes Equality campaign. The story traces how, for perhaps the first time in the history of the Irish State, the country shed its conservative Catholic image. Ultimately, this is the account of how a new wave of activism was successfully introduced in Ireland which led to a social revolution that is being fully realised in 2019 and beyond through subsequent campaigns, activism and further referenda. The marriage equality movement is best explored through the stories of the main campaigners, including those already well known in the Irish movement, such as David Norris, Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan, as well as individuals who inspired the founding of vibrant new groups such as NOISE and Marriage Equality, or reactivated established groups such as GLEN. This social revolution is detailed through accounts of how political lobbying was used and court cases launched that brought about necessary legal and political change which now showcases Ireland as a progressive country continually working towards achieving full equality.

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