Religious orders will not be forced to marry gay or lesbian couples, despite the introduction of new Marriage Equality laws.
The first same sex marriages should start taking place next week, after the last legal hurdle was cleared yesterday.
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald signed the commencement order for the Marriage Equality Act, while Tánaiste Joan Burton signed the accompanying legislation under the Civil Registration Act.
Tiernan Brady is the policy director of equality group GLEN and he has said same sex marriage was never a religious issue.
“It was not in any way about encroaching on anyone’s space or encroaching on any sacrament,” Mr Brady said.
“It was about how the State regards its’ citizens and what we asked the people on May 22 was whether no matter who you are, how you are born and who you fall in love with, whether the state should regard your relationship equally in the eyes of the constitution and the State will do that.”