Same-sex marriage supporters gain hope from Irish vote

SAME-sex marriage advocates have hailed the historic Ireland marriage equality vote as a win for Australian couples and urged federal politicians to follow suit.

The Republic of Ireland voted overwhelmingly to legalise same-sex marriage in a historic referendum at the weekend which won praise from leaders across the world.

Ireland is the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage through a popular vote after more than 62% voted in favour of amending the country's constitution to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.

But Prime Minister Tony Abbott all but ruled out holding a referendum on same-sex marriage in Australia saying the federal parliament would deal with the matter if it was ever brought to a vote again.

"Not for a second do I want to underestimate the feelings that people have on this issue, both for and against," he said.

"There are a range of views inside the parliament, there are a range of views inside my party room and frankly there is a range of views inside my family.

"Referendums are held in this country where there is a proposal to change the constitution.

"I do not think anyone is suggesting the constitution needs to be changed in this respect."

Australian Marriage Equality national convener Rodney Croome said people no longer bought into the scare campaign against reform.

He said Australia was now the only developed English-speaking country that does not allow same-sex couples to marry.

"If traditionally-conservative Catholic Ireland can endorse marriage equality, Australia's political leaders have no more excuses for dragging the chain," he said.

"Ireland's vote for marriage equality is a win for Australia because it will increase momentum for marriage equality here.

"It will inspire marriage equality supporters to work harder for reform, push more politicians to support it, and quash the myth that Catholics and other people of faith oppose marriage equality."

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said The Greens would push for a vote on a bill for same sex marriages to be recognised before the year is out.

"There is nothing in the Australian constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage," she said.

"A vote by parliament is all that is needed and Tony Abbott should allow his party a conscious vote on the subject." - APN NEWSDESK.