Ireland

Ireland’s first gay marriages possible by July; likely boost to LGBT tourism

DUBLIN – Some of Ireland’s gay couples planning a civil partnership may receive a surprisingly fast upgrade to marriage. The referendum could also have a positive effect on tourism as couples from countries where it is not legal, come to Ireland to get married.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald announced Monday that the bill to legalize gay marriage, following its landslide approval in Friday’s referendum, should be passed before lawmakers’ planned July 16 summer recess.

She says as part of the law, those gay couples already scheduled to be wed in civil partnership ceremonies following the bill’s passage will have their pre-booked events legally upgraded to full-fledged marriages.

Fitzgerald said: “I am very conscious that many couples will want to get married as soon as possible. I am working to make that happen.”

Gay couples in Ireland have been entitled to marriage-style civil partnerships since 2011. Like marriages, these must be scheduled at least three months in advance.