He emphasised that Ireland is very much isolated within the member states of the Council of Europe with regards to these matters.

The judge concluded that by reason of the absence of any provision which would enable the acquired identity of Dr Foy to be legally recognised in this jurisdiction, the state is in breach of its positive obligations under Art 8 of the Convention.

Ireland also forbids incitement to hatred based on sexual orientation.

In 2015, a survey of 1,000 individuals in Ireland found that 78% of people are in support of same-sex marriage and 71% of people think that same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt.

Prior to 1993, certain laws dating from the nineteenth century rendered male homosexual acts illegal.

The relevant legislation was the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, and the 1885 Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, both enacted by the Parliament of the United Kingdom before Irish independence, and having been repealed in England and Wales in 1967, Scotland in 1980 and Northern Ireland in 1982.

The Oireachtas (Irish Parliament) decriminalised male homosexuality five years later, when the Minister for Justice, Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, in the 1992–1994 Fianna Fáil—Labour Coalition Government included decriminalisation with an equal age of consent (an equal age of consent was not required by the ECHR ruling) in a bill to deal with various sexual offences.

None of the parties represented in the Oireachtas opposed decriminalisation.

Judge Mc Kechnie J noted that in Ireland it is crucial that parties to a marriage be of the opposite biological sex.

The judge noted that Article 12 of the ECHR is equally predicated.

The New York Times hailed the victory as putting Ireland at the "vanguard of social change".

Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is legal in the state.

In that case, Dr Foy was a transgender woman and sought a finding that she was born female but suffered from a congenital disability and claimed that the existing legal regime infringed her constitutional rights to marry a biological man.