Gay Marriage Referendum Passes In Ireland. Unresolved Issues Will Remain

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Flag_of_Ireland_svgWith all constituencies reporting, the Irish citizenry approved a constitutional amendment recognizing gay marriage: Yes 1,201,607; No 734,300.

The Constitution of Ireland permits amendment only by popular vote. A vote of the people for such amendments can provide more legitimacy and acceptance by the public and judging by the margin gay marriage will probably gain acceptance more readily. Nevertheless it does not necessarily engender full acceptance of such partnerships as over seven hundred thousand voters chose otherwise. Some institutions in Irish society will struggle to come to terms with the new direction Ireland is pursuing.

Change has been underway with the Irish government’s approach to the issue. Ireland decriminalized homosexuality twenty two years ago and later in 2010 the state voted to permit same sex civil unions to have same legal status as heterosexual couples. Yet there existed considerable debate as to whether a full marriage would be permitted. In 2013 a constitutional convention formed to explore the possibility of amending the Irish Constitution to allow the right to marriage regardless of gender of either party. In 2014 a referendum was drafted to be posed to the people. Voting occurred yesterday.

Probably the most visible unresolved question will be that of the Catholic Church which is not legally bound presently to perform gay marriages by its clergy or within its facilities. The vast majority of Irish are of the Catholic religion which might put more tradition minded church leaders against a younger demographic which sided with the Yes camp in greater proportions. The higher age demographic was more likely to belong to the No camp.

The issue has the potential to cause a schism within the church because doctrine disallows such marriages and the church’s hierarchy answers to the Vatican which ultimately could set policy contrary to that of Catholic Church in Ireland. The issue of gay marriage has caused fragmentation of protestant churches in the United States.

It is likely that in the afterglow of the passage of the referendum Ireland will experience strong debate while it tries to understand and embrace this change. Time will be ultimately the deciding factor. The younger generation embraces gay marriage. Eventually it will not be a significant matter for controversy but like most controversies first generation likely will be the one to struggle the most.

By Darren Smith

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

193 thoughts on “Gay Marriage Referendum Passes In Ireland. Unresolved Issues Will Remain”

  1. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Many thanks, However I am going through problems with your RSS.

    I don’t understand the reason why I cannot join it.

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    that knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanks!!

  2. Every time when I have finished reading comments on same-sex marriage I am so happy that I am an atheist.

  3. You know the world has truly gone mad when global warming is settled science and gender identification is not.

  4. Preposterous; beyond the pale.
    Concerning the politics of homosexuality:

    “The republican principle demands that the deliberate sense of
    the community should govern the conduct of those to whom they
    intrust the management of their affairs; but it does not require
    an unqualified complaisance to every sudden breeze of passion
    or to every transient impulse which the people may receive from
    the arts of men, who flatter their prejudices to betray their
    ― Alexander Hamilton


    “the people are nothing but a great beast…
    I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value.”
    -Alexander Hamilton


    The inmates have taken over the asylum.

  5. “Take a look at this list of countries: Belgium, Canada, Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Brazil, France, Uruguay, Luxembourg and Ireland. Name two things that they have in common.

    They don’t share a continent, obviously. Or a language.

    But in all of them, the Roman Catholic Church has more adherents, at least nominally, than any other religious denomination does.

    And all of them belong to the vanguard of 20 nations that have decided to make same-sex marriage legal.

    In fact, countries with a Catholic majority or plurality make up half of those where two men or two women can now wed or will soon be able to.

    Ireland, obviously, is the freshest addition to the list. It’s also, in some ways, the most remarkable one. It’s the first country to approve same-sex marriage by a popular referendum. The margin wasn’t even close. About 62 percent of voters embraced marriage equality.”

  6. Catholicism is over. Is there anyone left to believe after “God” allowed small children to be so severely abused by Catholicism, right in the sanctuary? Catholicism is a joke in decline. Catholics have a wonderful, benevolent loving “God” that condones child molestation and pays vast amounts in damages in a feeble and pitiful effort to purchase current and future legitimacy. Sounds like corporate strategy to me. Oh, that’s right. The Catholic Church is one of the largest for-profit corporations in the world.

    “There’s a sucker born every minute.” – P.T. Barnum

  7. dave…there is NO historical precedence that St. Peter was IN the British Isles…only YOU subscribe to this nonsense!…what historical FACTS can you produce, establishing St. Peter’s historical presence in the British Isles?…… I mean ACTUAL History…not some “faux” histroy, established by some quack revisionist…I won’t hold my breath dave…have a nice day guys…LOL!

  8. the next thing dave wil tell us on this post is that St. Thomas Aquinas was not “really” Catholic at all…but in reality, was a member of the orthodox church…LOL!…I can only hope that when dave’s head stops spinning, his face is to the front again…

  9. Dave’s duplicity is clear to see…plagiarism?…I cut and pasted quotes from historical sources as they were transmitted from the original sources…of course I did not state these comments as if I were at the very spot when spoken!….dave’s arguments are not only daft, but bogus as well…he quotes Thomas Aquinas, who clearly recognized the Papacy and the see of Peter…and claims Tertullian and other Catholic members and Bishops reject the Papacy and Romes authority when they were member’s of this VERY Church!…Anglican’s have created the same ludicrous “faux” history claiming that Anglicanism ALWAYS existed in England”…wrong , it only existed after Henry the VIII broke from it…Cardinal Wolsey was certainly not Anglican…in fact, Cardinals have never been part of this false Church…yes I used quotation’s to clearly state the comments I took from historical sources…these very quotes prove the historical facts of Peter’s authority and place as Pope and Vicar of Christ on Earth…don’t be fooled by daves loony JW flim-flam…he won’t admit he was raised as a JW, but his cult-like presentation and ant-Catholic rhetoric is plain to see…the orthodox Church is bogus…they allow THREE marriage and Divorces…daves a former member of the JW’s or mormon’s…as he quotes and champions heresy, and his “quasi-orthodox-protestant-jw-theology”…which is as loony and fragmented as his grasp of history!…the historical data I have provided is accurate and factual…dave can’t even determine the catholic Church’s teaching on what constitutes excommunication…he must be some tires of ‘cutting and pasting” links from anti-Catholic websites…furthermore St. Thomas Aquinas was Roman Catholic…not orthodox, yet he quotes Catholic theologians, and yet rejects their insistence on Peter’s Primacy!…Dave… Peter was in Rome… and was martyred in Rome after he preached from Rome, and was the first Pope, and nothing you can say, or do, will alter this historical fact…no amount of double-speak will alter the historical fact that jw’s and mormon’s were started by charlatans and thie church’s are CULT’S!…orthodox church(es) are all bogus and were started in the year 1054, and they have done nothing to evangelize the world, flagrantly contradicting the commission Our Lord gave to His Apostles, as orthodoxy is a fragmented group of ethnically based ‘false churches”, residing in eastern europe…protestantism is a false religious movement started in the 16th century , 1600 years too late to be the Church that was started by Christ in Jerusalem…thus ends the transmission…one more thing St. Cyprian was Catholic…and BISHOP of CARTHAGE dave!…

  10. Marriage exists to bond one man and one woman, to protect that bond from external challenge and to protect and support the children produced by that bond.

    Homosexuality has no materiality or relevance to the institution of marriage.

    Contracts for other all other agreements between various parties may be written by contract attorneys.

  11. davidm2575 – “The State has an interest in forming public policy that betters society for everyone. It has an interest in defining marriage, and in settling domestic disputes regarding deadbeat dads and property issues that arise from marriage. It has an interest in preventing fraud in marriage. Arguing that government has no interest in family law is to deny the responsibility that government has to society.”

    David, I agree with most of your thoughts accept this one. To me it is letting the camels nose in the tent. Your statement above is the beginning of replacing self responsibility with govt. I’ve written it before, but to me, the govt. should get out of marriage/unions all together, especially in the tax code. Peoples personal choices shouldn’t have a dollar advantage. This includes having kids. I believe if the govt. got out of the way this whole issue goes away. Gays can claim what the want, but it is all about the money and increasing their numbers.

    1. Jim22 wrote: “… the govt. should get out of marriage/unions all together…”

      Jim, what about the situation where a boy and girl agree to have a life together and start a family? They agree that the boy will work and bring in money, while the girl will attend to the domestic duties of the household, taking care of the children, etc. Soon the girl has a few children, and then the boy meets another girl that he thinks is prettier than his now frumpy wife. So the boy changes his mind and leaves his wife and children. Who is going to hold him accountable to his family? Who is going to make him pay alimony and child support? Does not that boy have continuing obligations to his family? I think he does.

      I don’t see this situation much different than a thief stealing from you. Who holds that thief accountable? Is not this the job of government?

  12. Conflict is like heroin for those w/ borderline personality disorder.


    “Jesus is a Political Prisoner: An American History of Christianity’s Corruption.

    According to the Pew Research Center, the Christian share of the population has declined in recent years from 78.4 percent to 70.6 percent. At the same time, the number of Americans identifying as religiously unaffiliated – including atheists and agnostics – has increased from 16.1 percent to 22.8 percent. The study attributes the changing religious landscape largely to millennials, who attend church far less than previous generations. But the trend is noticeable among older demographics as well. So what are to we make of these findings?

    Industrialists realized, Kruse writes, that, “As men of God, ministers could voice the same conservative complaints as business leaders, but without any suspicion that they were motivated by self-interest.” Kruse goes on to explain how religious authorities were recruited by business leaders: “It was a watershed moment – the beginning of a movement that would advance over the 1940s and early 1950s a new blend of conservative religion, economics, and politics that one observer aptly anointed Christian libertarianism.” Under the guise of this ideology, American clergy began to demonize the state: individualism was exalted; secularism was synonymous with socialism; and collectivism became the preferred boogeyman of businessmen and Christians. In short, capitalists purchased the pulpits of preachers, who equated economic freedom with spiritual salvation, God with limited government.

    That so many for so long have cared so little about actual justice is a disgrace. That they’ve done so under the cover of Christianity only makes it worse. The founding fathers placed a wall between church and state for a reason: They knew the alternative would be ruinous to both. They were right. Christianity has been unmoored from its roots, poisoned by the pursuit of worldly power; the faith ought to pay a price for that. And if that price also means less religion in politics, that’s a good thing – for everyone.”

  14. Olly, I have no idea just how bad you were before you found Jesus, but His work isn’t done with you, nor with ANY of us. I certainly hope you can agree with that.

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