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"A momentous day" says proud Irish Kiwi

Sun 24 May 2015 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

“I phoned my mum when I heard and we both ended up crying,” says Alan Granville Ireland’s historic marriage equality referendum is being celebrated all over the world, including by gay Irish expats here in New Zealand. Aucklander Alan Granville says he’s never been more proud to be Irish than today. “To see Ireland going from the last country in Western Europe to decriminalise homosexuality to being the first in the world to vote in same sex marriage by public vote is just stunning,” he tells Daily News. The former owner of Auckland men’s bar Urge says the fact Yes vote was across the whole country makes it even more incredible. “I phoned my mum when I heard and we both ended up crying,” he says. “A momentous day. A proud day.” Another expat gay Irishman, James Laverty, is grateful to all those who voted yes. “I'm shocked at the great news and happy to see the changes back home, so young people will get a better chance than I did growing up.” He says it’s a big wake up call for churches in Ireland and around the world. “My advice: Get in check with your communities and start to listen to the people.”Laverty adds it's a pity Northern Ireland has rejected same-sex marriage. “I believe if it was up the people we would see more change.” Labour MP Louisa Wall, who ushered in New Zealand’s own marriage equality legislation, has congratulated Ireland. “It’s the age of equality,” she says. Ireland will become the 20th nation in the world to introduce same-sex marriage when it comes into effect, which could happen by Christmas.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Sunday, 24th May 2015 - 11:36am

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