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Marriage Equality

Same-Sex Marriage Officially Recognized in Ireland, But Weddings Must Wait

Same-Sex Marriage Officially Recognized in Ireland, But Weddings Must Wait

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Celebrations begin in the Republic of Ireland, although the first weddings must wait at least one more day.

Marriages between same-sex couples are legally recognized in Ireland as of Monday, according to Irish media outlets, but due to delays and Ireland's complex betrothal system, the first weddings may take place tomorrow.

Dolores Murphy and Mabel Stoop-Murphy plan to be one of the first couples to tie the knot in the country, according to the Irish Independent. The pair have a civil partnership but will obtain a marriage license at the registry office in Cork on Tuesday.

The certificate will finally give Murphy legal rights to the couple's two-year-old son, according to the paper. However, she explained that her wedding day would be emotionally difficult.

"It will be bittersweet because there will really be just the two of us and our two witnesses," Murphy told the paper. "We have no family left."

Murphy's her father was present to walk both women down the aisle during their civil partnership ceremony, but he died in 2013.

"My dad knew Mabel for more than 10 years and he adored her. We're both so sad that he won't be here to share this special day with us," she told the paper.

Same-sex marriages registered abroad will be immediately recognized in Ireland, according to Agence France-Presse, while other couples can now submit their intention to marry and begin the archaic three-month-long betrothal process. But those already in civil partnerships, which have been available since 2011, only have to give five days' notice, AFP reports, and those who have applied for civil partnerships since the referendum may be able to marry as early as Tuesday.

Vivian Cummins, 57, from Dublin who married his partner, Erney, in South Africa in 2009, told AFP that before the passage of Ireland's same-sex marriage ballot measure, it was hard for him to speak openly about his relationship.

"I would never really admit by choice to being married because I didn't feel married in this country," he told the wire service. "I felt I didn't have permission to say we were married, but from now we will say it at every opportunity."

In May, Ireland made history by passing marriage equality by popular vote with 62.1 percent of voters in favor of defining marriage as being between two people "without distinction as to their sex." This was the first time that marriage equality has been enacted in a referendum. The Irish Parliament then had to pass a bill to bring the results into force, and President Michael Higgins signed it into law last month.

It is not known which same-sex couple will be first to wed in the country, but "regulatory and procedural issues are expected to require a 24-hour delay," following today's legalization, reports the Irish Independent.

However, in addition to the Cork women's union, same-sex marriages are already planned for tomorrow for Dublin and Galway, according to the Independent.

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