Tag Archives: marriage referendum

Post-referendum reflections on Irish Catholicism

There’s a lot of analysis about Ireland’s successful same-sex marriage referendum and the legacy of the Catholic Church: Here’s a sampling, starting with perhaps the most widely quoted post-election remark.

“The Church needs a reality check right across the board, to look at the things we are doing well and look at the areas where we need to say, have we drifted away completely from young people?” — Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin told RTE.

“The Joyful Death of Catholic Ireland,” by James Matthew Wilson in Crisis Magazine, The Voice for the Faithful Catholic Laity.

The reason the Irish—as Irish—are celebrating is that they have with this referendum delivered a decisive and final blow to their venerable image as a Catholic nation. They have taken their vengeance on the Church. They must relish the unshackling; they must love the taste of blood. But, finally, they take joy in becoming what, it seems, they were always meant to become. An unexceptional country floating somewhere in the waters off a continent that has long since entered into cultural decline, demographic winter, and the petty and perpetual discontents that come free of charge to every people that lives for nothing much in particular.

“Gay vote shows it’s not your grandfather’s Ireland any more,” By Niall O’Down in Irish Central.

Much of the mainstream media in the US missed … the death of monochrome, one holy and Catholic Ireland that passed away at least a decade or so ago and the new multi-ethnic ethos that prevails.

“Ireland has said ‘yes’ to gay marriage and ‘no’ to Catholicism,” by The Telegraph.

The Irish referendum on gay marriage was about more than just gay marriage. It was a politically trendy, media backed, well financed howl of rage against Catholicism.

“Gay Marriage in Ireland Isn’t a ‘No’ to Catholicism,” by Time.

Ireland’s historic decision to pass gay marriage by popular vote Saturday has led many to question the strength of the Catholic Church in the land of St. Patrick. For example, The Telegraph’s Tim Stanley wrote that Ireland’s “yes” to gay marriage was a “no” to Catholicism. But such simplistic reductions miss the complex and evolving Catholic worldview on civil gay marriage. … In fact, many who voted “yes” on gay marriage did so because of their faith, not in spite of it.

“Same-sex marriage vote an ‘unmitigated disaster’ for Church,” opinion column in The Irish Times that quotes several members of the liberal, pro-“Yes” Association of Catholic Priests.

“Catholic Church Ponders Future After Same-Sex Marriage Vote in Ireland,” by The New York Times.

Ireland approves same sex marriage in historic vote

Irish voters have enshrined same-sex marriage rights in the Republic’s constitution, becoming the world’s first nation to give such approval through popular referendum.

With all 43 constituencies counted, the “Yes” vote was just over 62 percent, compared to just shy of 38 percent “No.” Some Dublin constituencies approved the measure by more than 70 percent. Roscommon-South Leitrim was the only constituency to vote against. (My ancestral homeland of Kerry North-West Limerick voted “Yes” by 55.4 percent to 44.5 percent.)

Nationwide turnout was 60.5 percent.

Marriage referendum campaign enters final month

Voters in Ireland go to the polls 22 May to decide two constitutional issues: whether to allow same-sex marriage, and whether to reduce the age of candidacy for the office of president to 21 from 35 (as in the U.S.)

The marriage issue, unsurprisingly, is getting most of the attention. If approved, Ireland would become the first country in the world to approve a national referendum guaranteeing same-sex marriage in its constitution. Other nations (France, Denmark, Argentina) have approved gay marriage through the courts or legislatively, as has happened in 36 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide same-sax marriage issue later this summer.

Recent polling in Ireland finds support for the “Yes” vote remains around 70 percent, though it has slipped since February. And a secret “No” vote could be waiting in the wings, David Quinn writes in the Irish Independent:

‘No’ voters and waverers will stay silent for the most part out of fear of being denounced as ‘bigots’ for the ‘crime’ of believing in the family of man, woman and child based on marriage. The ‘No’ side can win though, and if it does, it will be a victory for common sense and the severest rebuff for Official Ireland, which is willing to break every normal protocol to secure a ‘Yes’ vote.

An editorial in Irish Central says “what seems to be going for the ‘Yes’ side is the sheer hypocrisy of the ‘No’ proponents,” suggesting the “intolerance and moral superiority [of high-profile ‘No’ representatives] probably ensures the same sex referendum will pass.”

Or maybe not. IC continues:

There are many rural voters who will resent the Dublin 4 [a postal district of wealthy, liberal elites] attitude reflected in much of the media of ill-concealed derision for those who oppose same sex marriage. There is also the complacency factor. Polls showing the ‘Yes’ side so far ahead may lead many to decide against voting at all.

For more details and background, The Irish Times offers a Q & A about the marriage referendum, and a Q & A about the age eligibility issue.