Friday, May 22, 2015

Yes or No on Gay Marriage?

Banners encouraging voters to support the Yes and the No campaign in the Irish same-sex marriage referendum
I have held off on today's blog entry as I await news from Ireland of the results in the first national referendum every held in any country to decide on gay marriage. A number of other countries have approved gay marriage but it has been legislative bodies which have done so. Approval in this fashion would be significant not only as a first amongst nations but remarkable in a country where the Roman Catholic church has been such a powerful social force for hundreds of years. Not unlike the province of Quebec, Ireland has swung toward secularization and a rejection of a church that was both controlling and hypocritical. A number of Roman Catholic bishops have been vocal for a "no" decision, but that may not be enough.
I found this on the Toronto Star website:
Early indications suggest this referendum is mobilizing voters on both sides just like Ireland’s previous landmark votes on joining the European Union, banning abortion and legalizing divorce. Electoral officers reported stronger-than-usual turnout at many stations in schools, church halls and pubs across this nation of 3.2 million registered voters.As voters left one polling station in northeast Dublin, they demonstrated a clear generation gap when The Associated Press asked them how they had voted. Those under 40 were solidly yes, the older voters much more likely to have voted no.
This exit poll is no surprise. Around the world young people are not only much inclined to support LGBT equality but in the United States young adults are leaving their churches in significant numbers because of the intolerance preached and taught regarding homosexuality.
The United Church of Canada has certainly taken considerable heat for its pro LGBT stance through the years and many have argued that our decline is God's judgement. I'm tempted to be glib and say that God has told me otherwise, but I am in fact grateful to be part of a denomination where acceptance, not just tolerance is so important.
Have you been following what is happening in Ireland. Any comments about the shift in societal perceptions about LGBT persons?

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