A couple outside a polling station in Drogheda, north of Dublin, after voting in Ireland’s referendum on same-sex marriage on Friday. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images, via The Guardian
Ireland is on course to become the first nation in the world to legalise gay marriage by popular vote, leaders on both sides of the historic referendum campaign said on Saturday.
Early tallies from open ballot boxes across the Irish Republic indicate a strong showing for the pro-same sex marriage proposition. The trend suggests that there will be at least a 2-1 majority for the yes side.
A huge yes vote from the republic’s electorate would mark another major milestone in Ireland’s journey from a Catholic church-dominated state to a more liberal, secular society.