A few days ago Ireland held a historic vote. It asked citizens to decide whether to amend the Constitution to legalize gay marriage.
It passed overwhelmingly.
What a concept. Instead of stubborn lawmakers making decisions based solely on earning the approval of their constituents, or a handful of Supreme Court justices interpreting a document that was written 230 years ago, Ireland actually asked the people what they wanted to do.
Legalizing same-sex marriage affects everybody. Gay or straight. And yet, no other nation is giving its citizens an opportunity to have a legitimate say. Ireland did, and for the first time in history, gay marriage was legalized in a country by popular vote.
I think it was Bob Dylan who once said, “the times they are a-changing.”
I attended a same-sex wedding months after it was legalized in New York in 2011. So the concept of it existing is already something that’s extremely real to me. It’s not just an issue that gets debated in government hearings or written about in articles. I actually saw two women get married before my eyes, and it was one of the best weddings I’ve ever been to.
There was a ton of alcohol. Everyone was happy. People danced. There was food. The only difference? The couple being married were of the same gender.
OH THE HUMANITY.
The overall public opinion on gay marriage has shifted so greatly that it’s not even a productive strategy for Republicans to openly advocate against it anymore. At least not if they have presidential aspirations. And that’s why you see legitimate presidential candidates like Marco Rubio and Rand Paul skirting around the issue whenever it’s raised.
This Ireland vote is only a further step of the inevitable: gay marriage will be universally legalized one day. It still will take along time. Don’t expect to see nations like Iran legalizing it just yet. But one day.
And Ireland was never an obvious choice to be the first nation to legalize it by vote. A few decades ago, the people who lived there were vehement followers of the Catholic Church, which naturally opposes gay marriage. And it was only 22 years ago when Ireland decriminalized homosexuality!
It’s an amazing thing. When an important issue arises, ask the people what they think.
There’s a lot of reasons to want to follow Ireland’s lead. Guinness beer. Leprechauns. Corned beef and cabbage. St. Patrick’s Day. More leprechauns. The Blarmey Stone. The movie “The Quiet Man” starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. Did I mention leprechauns?
And now, their innovative method towards legalizing gay marriage is another.
Top o’ the morning to ya!
Yes, I know that’s a greeting and not a farewell, but it’s the only Irish phrase I know so let’s just go with it.