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Ireland’s first gay marriage possible by July, minister says

Yes supporters react at Dublin castle, Ireland, Saturday, May 23, 2015. Ireland has voted resoundingly to legalize gay marriage in the world's first national vote on the issue, leaders on both sides of the Irish referendum declared Saturday even as official ballot counting continued. Senior figures from the "no" campaign, who sought to prevent Ireland's constitution from being amended to permit same-sex marriages, say the only question is how large the "yes" side's margin of victory will be from Friday's vote. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

DUBLIN (AP) — Some of Ireland’s gay couples planning a civil partnership may receive a surprisingly fast upgrade to marriage.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald announced Monday that the bill to legalize gay marriage, following its landslide approval in Friday’s referendum, should be passed before lawmakers’ planned July 16 summer recess.

She says as part of the law, those gay couples already scheduled to be wed in civil partnership ceremonies following the bill’s passage will have their pre-booked events legally upgraded to full-fledged marriages.

Fitzgerald said: “I am very conscious that many couples will want to get married as soon as possible. I am working to make that happen.”

Gay couples in Ireland have been entitled to marriage-style civil partnerships since 2011. Like marriages, these must be scheduled at least three months in advance.

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