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Not exactly what you'd expect from a predominantly Catholic country that only legalized homosexuality in 1993, but hey. Ireland made history this weekend as the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage by popular vote. With a resounding 62 percent, the "Yes" vote claimed victory, much to the chagrin of the Catholic Church.
The vote is surely reflective of growing tolerance toward gays and lesbians, perhaps even the social revolution many are touting (time will tell). Voter turnout was at 60 percent, which is more than the turnout for Ireland's last presidential election, and supporters cut across age and gender, geography and income. Celebrities the world over took to Twitter to kvell.
How did the "Yes" vote do it? Foreign money helped. So did social media. But nothing unites like a common enemy. That would be the Catholic Church, which in recent years has rapidly diminished in moral authority, largely thanks to a torrent of sex abuse scandals. Some say Saturday's vote is more of a "No" to the Church, than a "Yes" to anything else.
Still, the fact remains. Overwhelmingly Catholic Ireland has voted to legalize gay marriage. Whatup. The next logical question is: What's stopping everyone else? Here's a look at where we're at with gay marriage around the world.
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In case the vote in Ireland wasn't enough to make this weekend a great one for gay people, Eurovision happened.
Swedish singer Mans Zelmerlow and his extremely tight leather pants snagged a victory yesterday at this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, narrowly beating out Russia's Polina Gagarina, whose song was about peace and unity — you know, like Russia's foreign policy. Zelmerlow won with his upbeat pop track Heroes, which was accompanied by innovative animated visuals including an awesome cartoon fist bump.
Other winners in spirit include Finland's disabled punk band, Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat, or PKN. They were eliminated early on, but it's no matter. The four middle-aged men in PKN —who have Down syndrome, Williams syndrome and other intellectual disabilities — won hearts and minds hands down.
And Serbia’s Bojana Stamenov, a 28-year-old competing with a cheesy dance anthem about celebrating difference, was touted as this year's Conchita Wurst. But it was Wurst herself, that gorgeous bearded winner from last year, who stole the show yet again. She wasn't competing or even hosting but her opening performance was still top notch.