IRELAND: Prime Minister Issues Last Minute Plea For Same-Sex Marriage
Ireland’s prime minister, Enda Kenny, has made a final plea for a yes vote in the referendum to legalise gay marriage. The taoiseach told the Irish electorate on Wednesday night: “There is nothing to fear for voting for love and equality.” Kenny made his plea on live television ahead of a broadcasting embargo imposed on all sides of same-sex marriage debate. The republic is the only country in the world where the electorate will decide whether to make gay marriage legal. The country goes to the polls on Friday and the votes will be counted from Saturday morning. Under the Irish electoral rules, there is a ban on statements from all sides of the debate on the country’s airwaves 24 hours before polling stations open. Earlier, at his Fine Gael party’s last press conference of the campaign, Kenny said he had “no intention of becoming a gay icon” over his strong support for a Yes vote. He also rejected suggestions from those opposed to gay marriage that religious schools would be forced to teach about the validity of same-sex marriages.The above-cited 24-hour statement ban apparently does not apply to social media as both sides have been active on Twitter today. Polls open at 7AM tomorrow (that's 2AM in New York City) and close at 10PM local time. Ireland does not have electronic voting so the result will likely not be known until midday Saturday. If we get any exit polling I'll be posting it here tomorrow night.