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Ireland celebrates first gay marriages six months after landmark vote

(iStock Photo)

DUBLIN – Ireland is celebrating its first gay marriages, six months after voters overwhelmingly chose to legalize the practice in the traditionally conservative Catholic nation.

Dozens of couples nationwide planned to convert their existing civil partnerships into full marriages on Tuesday, the first day it has been legally permitted.

Gay marriage became officially legal Monday but the legislation required a minimum 24-hour notice to upgrade civil partnerships.

The Irish Times says the first couple to sign on the dotted line was barrister Cormac Gollogly and bank official Richard Dowling, both 35. The senior registrar for South Tipperary, Mary Claire Heffernan, helped them to hold a simple ceremony early Tuesday morning. She also oversaw their September civil partnership.

They exchanged rings and vows “to love and comfort him in sickness and in health.”