The Importance of Ireland’s Popular YES Vote in the Global LGBT Arena

Why the Irish Vote in favor of marriage equality is so important to Homophobic Countries  and leaders perpetuating lies about LGBTI people

By Melanie Nathan, May 24, 2014.

Irish equality marriageIreland has become the first country in the world to legalize marriage equality by popular vote in a national election. On Friday, May, 22, 2015, Irish voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment legalizing same-sex marriage.

According to a CNN report, The official results were announced Saturday at a Dublin Castle press conference: 1,201,607 voted in favor of the landmark referendum, while 734,300 voted against it, said Ríona Ní Fhlanghaile, an elections official.

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 3.11.54 PMAccording to research by the Williams Institute, 4,042 same-sex couples are currently living in Ireland. Irish citizens and people with Irish ancestry live in all parts of the world. In the United States, there are 245,000 same-sex couples with at least one spouse/partner of Irish ancestry. Sixteen percent of those couples are raising approximately 68,000 children.

Voting rights for Irish citizens living abroad are restricted, but many embarked upon the historic journey home to cast their YES votes.

Voter turnout in the majority Catholic nation was more than 60%, according to Fhlanghaile. “

Why this is a such an important Global event:

An example has been set through the popularity of the vote in a country where religion has played a critical importance at every level of life and society.

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 3.11.39 PMIreland’s largest religious group is Christianity. The largest denomination is Roman Catholicism representing over 73% for the island (and about 87% of the Republic of Ireland). Most of the rest of the population adhere to one of the various Protestant denominations (about 48% of Northern Ireland).  The largest is the Anglican Church of Ireland. The Muslim community is growing in Ireland, mostly through increased immigration, with a 50% increase in the republic between the 2006 and 2011 census. The island has a small Jewish community. About 4% of the Republic’s population and about 14% of the Northern Ireland population describe themselves as of no religion. In a 2010 survey conducted on behalf of the Irish Times, 32% of respondents said they went to a religious service more than once a week.

Impact on Global Equality cannot be understated:

  • The Supreme Court of the United States will soon hand down its ruling on  the marriage equality cases argued last month before the nine Justices, some of whom may still hold their religious perspectives ahead of what is popular at this time. I believe that the United States will be severely embarrassed if our Justices fail to come up with the ultimate ruling in favor of marriage equality for all U.S. States.  It is as if the Irish have spoken for us all. If they can do it why can’t we? We have so much in common. The result is hard to ignore or turn one’s back on.  It is indicative too of a country we respect refuting all those anti same sex marriage arguments.
  • Rusty penal codes which still plague the globe, a draconian finger point to the Colonial era, and which continue to criminalize homosexuality, will look even more foolish than they already do.
  • New ramped up anti-homosexuality legislation which leaders are trying to introduce into global parliaments based on comical myth and devilish lies will be rendered even more persecutory and ludicrous when Dublin and Cork do not become overnight Sodom and Gomorrah.
  • The Pope will have to reevaluate how the Vatican plans to pursue its dialogue and policy in the arena of civil equality, and the reality that so many Catholics worldwide have so many LGBTI people as family members, who they lovingly believe should have equality under the civil laws of their respective countries.
  • The Irish are in effect telling the people and leaders of anti-gay countries that the violence inducing rhetoric and constant lying about gay people is the malarkey we who are gay, lesbian and bisexual have all known it to be.
  • Ireland’s vote shows the world that a country can have strong religious ideals and backgrounds and still prove that the Christian religions expound love, acceptance and equality as an overarching principle.
  • The Irish as a people collectively do not interpret the Bible in a fundamentalist fashion– and that religion and the acceptance of homosexuality in the civil arena can coexist pain-free, especially where one is able to contextualize Biblical dicta and adapt it to a modern era where we live our sexualities openly and not in secret.Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 3.12.34 PMMAZALTOV IRELAND! We love you #HometoVOTE


10 thoughts on “The Importance of Ireland’s Popular YES Vote in the Global LGBT Arena

  1. It isn’t just IMPORTANT, it’s WONDERFUL! Thank you Ireland!

    I loved what one person said: “Alone, we are a minority, but together with our friends, our family members and are co-workers WE are a MAJORITY!” The more of us that come out of the closet and let everyone know who we are, the more we gain the freedom of honesty and the more we gain acceptance.

    Thank you Ireland!

  2. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    This is so very important!! Other countries …. follow suit!!

  3. Reblogged this on JerBear's Queer World News, Views & More From The City Different – Santa Fe, NM and commented:
    A brilliant analysis of Ireland’s resounding yes for marriage equality…

  4. Pingback: Marriage Equality Round-Up - May 25th - Marriage Equality Watch
  5. Congratulations to the Republic of Ireland for standing up to the plate by voting yes for marriage equality. You are setting a terrific example for the rest of the world to see, especially for those who believe we are created by God as we are and that God is love, not hate. This is also a poke in the snoot of the Catholic leaders who have refused to accept God’s love of us all.

  6. It doesn’t matter how many votes or ‘victories’ homosexuals attain. Homosexuality is still a sin against God and there is no way out of that. Homosexuals need to enjoy their lives now, because in hell, where they who disobey God go, there is eternal torment.

    1. LOL – and the people who hate and hurt and spread lies about Gays and misinterpret the Bible and Gods love for All will definately not be going to hell. See you at the gates… Buddy!

    2. Rev, apparently the people of Ireland have seen fit to distinguish between privately-held religious views and the morrays that make a mondern, peaceful, non-violent society possible: tolerance. This will save civilization. It will also save marriage by making it all-inclusive and restoring to it the respect that has ebbed away in the past 50 years. If we listened to you, it would destroy marriage and destroy civilization.

      A question I have posed to extremist Muslims for many years: “How do you expect to live in peace and safety, when you are building a culture of violence and a society of hatred by persecuting, jailing and murdering gays, Christians and Atheists? If you can do this, what’s to stop another Muslim from coming along and deciding that YOU are gulity of blasphemy and abusing, jailing and executing YOU?”

      That question is being played out in Iraq and Syria, even as we speak. I’ll take tolerance, any day of the week!

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