And Ireland votes in favour of gay marriage

With more then 62% of the vote in favour of gay marriage, the people of the Republic of Ireland have spoken clearly in favour of equality in marriage making Ireland the first county in the history of the world to have voted into law gay marriage, meaning same sex marriage in now legal in twenty countries.

It should however be noted that only 60% of those eligible to vote, did, however the cheers and applause made on the announcement made it quite clear this was a victory for equality that is very popular with the people of Ireland. Most news sources confirm that the no campaign members conceded defeat very early on.

In other recent events earlier this week the court case involving a cake shop that was sued for refusing to bake a cake with a slogan supporting gay marriage, based on the religious views of the shop owner which of course were against gay marriage, found in favour against the shop owners.

Homosexual acts was decriminalised in Ireland twenty two years ago, after a referendum. The Irish Prime Minister has been quoted that Ireland is a "small country with a big message for equality."

So what does this mean for the people of Ireland, straight and gay alike?

Ireland's constitution is written, meaning it can only be changed by referendums, this allows for new laws to be written and means that gay marriages will have the same legal rights as a traditional straight marriage, something that under current Irish laws, the civil partnership introduced in 2010 doesn't provide. This gives the same protection under the law and the right to be called a family. This could only be removed if another referendum voted against gay marriage in future.

This was a vote that could only be cast in ballot boxes, so no postal votes were issued and Irish citizens overseas made return trips home to cast their votes and make their feelings known. Only one of the forty three constituencies voted mostly against equality.

Even the members of the church of Ireland have admitted that they now have to accept that they need to check over the details and see how they will need to more forward, accepting the views of young people and that gay men and woman must feel their lives have been enriched, and that Ireland is in a social revolution.

Each individual church will still decide for itself if it will conduct a marriage service.

And that brings us back to the cake. How long before a church finds itself sued for not wishing to conduct a wedding service for a gay couple?

Still if that day comes we can expect to read all about it in great detail and see various debates on the rights and wrongs of forcing someone to partake in something they don't agree with.

And there will always be those who feel that marriage should be between a man and woman, because that's how it was originally meant to be because that's how it was written in some book written a couple of thousand years ago, and those people will unfortunately not take a look at the world and realise that the world has actually changed quite a lot in that time.

I wonder how Oscar Wilde would feel right now? Something Witty no doubt.


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