Lucinda Connell, specialist divorce and children’s lawyer with Major Family Law, the North East’s top family law lawyers states on Friday 5th June 2015 voters in Ireland took part in a referendum regarding the extension of civil marriage rights to same sex couples. The referendum resulted in a 60.52% turnout with 1,201,607 (62.07% of voters) voting overwhelmingly in favour with 734,300 (37.93% of voters) voting against. The vote approves changing the Irish Constitution to extend civil marriage rights to same-sex couples. Under the Constitution, special status is given to the family together with certain rights such as taxation and social welfare. Following the referendum, this now means that same sex married couples cannot be treated less well than those in civil partnerships.