Ireland voted in favor of same-sex marriage by 61.2% to 39.8%. The result makes Ireland the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular vote.
This was a resonant result from a traditionally Catholic country. Hooray for the Irish. As for that rest of the world still waiting to embrace equality, or, worse still, promulgating repression and prejudice, WAKE UP.
Unsurprisingly, reactions included the familiar mixture of hate and bigotry on one side and joy and enlightenment on the other. The greatest contrasts came from within the walls of the Catholic faith, Rome and Dublin reacting very differently.
Enlightenment swept Dublin, where Archbishop Diarmuid said, "We [the church] have to stop and have a reality check, not move into denial of the realities. We won't begin again with a sense of renewal, with a sense of denial … I appreciate how gay and lesbian men and women feel on this day. That they feel this is something that is enriching the way they live. I think it is a social revolution."
In Rome, however, the Vatican still don't get it. A “defeat for humanity”, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state and the Pope’s top lieutenant, called it. This marked the highest-level reaction from the Catholic church to last weekend’s groundbreaking referendum.
Even more extreme was the reaction from The Westboro Baptist Church bigots who tried and failed to satirise Ireland after the popular vote. The hate group posted images of the Irish flag with angry text overlaid to condemn the 61% percent majority.
However, Westboro Baptist couldn't get the flag right and ended up insulting the Ivory Coast. The European and African nations have similar flags. Ireland's striped green, white and orange from left to right, while the Ivory Coast's is orange, white and green.
Harry Potter author, J K Rowling was legitimately incensed, suggesting that the Westboto haters were, by implication, a bunch of Neanderthals, and that a union she had mooted between Dumbledore and Gandalf, the wizard from Lord of the Rings, would "blow your tiny bigoted minds out of your thick, sloping skulls."
Elsewhere, Aidan Johnson, writing in the Globe and Mail, said,"As a proud Irish-Canadian, and as a man married to a man, I had a deep emotional stake in the referendum. But I was not very aware of it until I read the results. Unexpectedly, I was overjoyed. I had thought that I was over the fact that many of my fellow Irish Catholics see my bourgeois gay marriage as a sin. This was a mistake of self-observation (a sin by Wilde’s standard). Good fortune let me learn of this error in a happy way – through my reaction to the vote. LGBT people and straight allies around the world shared my joy. It was a positive experience."
Marriage Equality Australia, where the debate continues to rage, says the result in the traditionally conservative Catholic country will remove any doubt marriage equality can be achieved. But the Australian Christian Lobby has vowed to campaign harder against same-sex marriage in the wake of the result.
This one will run and run.
Lustralboy says: "It's a wake up call to so many nations, as the map above shows. And to so many religions still trapped in the Dark Ages. Wake up or die the slow death that, for your prejudice, you so richly deserve.
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