Ireland will join 22 other nations that have legalized same-sex marriage AND it has done it in a way that is unprecedented. The Irish people by popular vote vs. legislation or court order have ushered in marriage equality. That does come as a bit of a surprise considering Ireland’s long-standing Catholic traditions. Only 22 years ago, not only were these types of marriages illegal, but being homosexual in Ireland was a crime. Look at how far they have come in such a short time.
The move reflects at least a partial departure from those long-standing traditions as less than 20 percent of Irish citizens say they attend Mass on Sunday regularly. In 1984 that number was around 90 percent. Other things the country has left behind as it has departed from the church is the threat of terrorism from religious groups like the IRA and it’s affiliates throughout Ireland and Britain. Birth control, once illegal has also been legalized over objections from the church. Unlike Americans, the Irish people are looking for solutions within their religion and traditions instead of using those bodies as a club to beat people down with.
No, Ireland has not become a bastion of progressiveness on all levels. The country still has archaic abortion laws and censorship in Ireland is a lot tighter than most Americans would be comfortable with, but the Irish people have shown in the last 30 years that they are people who are willing to look at the facts and evidence as things change. In certain cases, like here, they have been willing to put religious doctrine and traditions aside for more pragmatic and real world policies for the benefit of all their people.
Check out this excellent report from BBC on the issues surrounding the historic vote yesterday HERE:
Featured Image via screen capture from YouTube