Ireland Sets Global Example on Gay Marriage


Courtesy of Tribune News Service.

David Baker, left, and Ryan Aquilina hold signs as pro and anti-gay marriage demonstrators rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court as it hears arguments on the question of same-sex marriage on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, in Washington, D.C. (Brian Cahn/Zuma Press/TNS)

Ireland has become the first country in the world to allow same-sex marriage by popular vote. This proclamation comes only 22 years after the law forbidding homosexual interactions was abolished, proving that they are indeed making headway in changing civil rights.

On May 23, 62 percent of voters voted in favor of allowing same-sex marriages to legally wed. In real numbers, 1,201,607 voted for while 734,300 voted against. Not only will they be able to wed, but their marriage status will be viewed as a heterosexual marriage; they will have the same benefits promised to a married couple. Their union will also be recognized as a family affair and will allow that family the same protection as any other. This surpasses the American standard where the state is able to choose same-sex marriage liberties, and are not (in some states) granted the same benefits as traditional heterosexual counterparts.

The new legislation was met with gratitude from its supporters, and has made itself a hot topic amongst followers of the story worldwide, because gay rights have been a prevalent subject in the headlines, and with the victory of one country millions more people are ready to mimic this social progress.

A day after the proclamation, Italian representatives boldly announced that they are ready to follow the example set by Ireland. The popular Italian magazine, La Repubblica, reported that after a meeting with his advisers Prime Minister Matteo Renzi sees no point in putting off the issue. “What joy,” said Roberto Speranza, leader of Italy’s Democratic Party of the result. “Now it is Italy’s turn.”

Other countries have not, so far, come forward with any proclamations, but there are high hopes amongst the public to join what appears to be an international mandate.