With the support of all of the political parties in Dublin's parliament (the Dail), a May 22 referendum on same-sex marriage could bring official state recognition for Ireland’s gay community and their relationships for the first time.
Homosexuality in Ireland was decriminalised in 1993. The referendum could mark a further break from a culture which has for decades forced LGBTI members to live covertly or suppress their identity entirely.
The referendum has been opposed by most, though not all, of Ireland’s clergy. Polls have shown strong opposition among Ireland’s oldest age groups.