Sonja Tiernan, “The History of Marriage Equality in Ireland: A Social Revolution Begins” (Manchester UP, 2020)

In 2015, the world witnessed an Irish social revolution. In a historic referendum vote, the Republic of Ireland voted to extend the constitutional right to marriage to same-sex couples. Thirty years before, sex between men was illegal. From the 1970s, LGBT rights activists advocated tirelessly for decriminalization, fair treatment laws, protection from discrimination, and, most recently, marriage equality. In one of the most Catholic countries in the world, it was never easy. In her book The History of Marriage Equality in Ireland: A Social Revolution Begins (Manchester UP, 2020), Sonja Tiernan charts the long road to the 2015 referendum in one of Ireland’s most recent civil rights movements. Join us as we chat about Constitutional Conventions, the power of social media, the so-called “Pantigate,” and that overwhelming moment on May 22, 2015 when the people of Ireland said “Yes” to marriage equality.

Avrill Earls is the Executive Producer of Dig: A History Podcast (a narrative history podcast, rather than interview-based), and an Assistant Professor of History at Mercyhurst University.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Support our show by becoming a premium member!