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Ireland to conduct referendum on marriage equality

DUBLIN -- Ireland will vote on a referendum to decide if gay and lesbian couples should be granted marriage equality.

A national convention convened to recommend reforms to the Irish constitution voted today in favor of marriage equality with 79% approval.

Irish law requires a national referendum to make any changes to the constitution.

LGBT advocates hailed the decision, according to The Guardian:

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties and the Gay and Lesbian Network welcomed the endorsement of gay marriage equality.

The Marriage Equality director Moninne Griffith said the vote proved "Ireland is ready for equality for same-sex couples and wants equal access to civil marriage for loving committed gay and lesbian couples".

The Gay and Lesbian Network director Brian Sheehan described the vote as a "historic day – a major milestone on the remarkable journey" towards full equality.

No date has been set for the referendum.