Ireland Votes For Same-Sex Marriage

Image: William Murphy
Image: William Murphy

Last week, the people of Ireland made a very important decision.

They decided to make it legal for people of the same gender (for instance, men or women) to get married.

Before the vote, it was illegal for same-sex couples to get married.

There are many countries, including Canada and some parts of the United States, where same-sex couples can legally get married. However, Ireland is the first country to make this decision through a vote by the people who live there.

A very high percentage of Irish people voted on the issue—more than 60 per cent. Most of those people voted “yes.” More than 1.2 million people voted “yes” and about 743,300 voted “no.”

The vote is important because it changes the country’s constitution. (A constitution is like a list of things a country believes are most important.) In Ireland’s constitution now it will say that same-sex couples have the same status and rights as everyone else.

Same-sex marriage was first legalized in The Netherlands, according to Wikipedia. Since then, many countries including Canada, Spain, Iceland, France and the United Kingdom have performed same-sex marriages. Many countries have not legalized same-sex marriage–for instance, “no country in Asia currently performs same-sex marriages,” Wikipedia says.

By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Do you think that marriage in all forms should be seen as equal? Why or why not?

Reading Prompt: Analysing Texts
The author of this article makes special effort to maintain a formal, balanced structure which encourages the reader to pay equal attention to both sides of the argument. How does the author do this? Why is the author’s impartiality important?

Identify specific elements of texts and explain how they contribute to the meaning of the texts 
 (OME, Reading: 1.7).

Analyse texts and explain how various elements in them contribute to meaning
 (OME, Reading: 1.7).

Analyse a variety of texts, both simple and complex, and explain how the different elements in them contribute to meaning and influence the reader’s reaction 
(OME, Reading: 1.7).

Language Feature: Proper Nouns
A proper noun is the specific name of a person, place, or thing. In today’s article several proper nouns are included (country names, company names, etc.).

Reread today’s article and underline all of the proper nouns.
What do all proper nouns have in common?