In May, voters in the Republic of Ireland came out strongly in favour of legalising same-sex marriage in a national referendum. Sixty-two per cent of the population voted in favour of changing the constitution to allow same-sex marriage, with the result being hailed as ‘the will of the people’.
Despite the celebrations portrayed on the news, the result did not go down well with the Catholic Church in Rome. According to a BBC report, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, said he was ‘very saddened’ by the result, and the vote showed how much the church needed to improve how it preached the Christian message.
At present, same-sex marriage is legal in 21 countries worldwide. However, the vote taking place in Ireland was the first national referendum on the subject. Following the result, Northern Ireland came under further pressure to bring in same-sex marriage legislation. Northern Ireland has already voted ‘no’ against the motion four times over the past few months.
But, early in June, Councillor Emmet McDonough-Brown successfully brought a motion on civil marriage provisions for same-sex couples before Belfast City Council. He called on the Minister of Finance and Personnel to introduce legislation to extend civil marriage provisions to same-sex couples.
This comes as Greenland legalised same-sex marriage. According to the Greenlandic Broadcasting Corporation, the vote to approve it passed by a unanimous 27-0.
In an editorial in The Spectator, one writer asked whether gay marriage was just a fad. The article said, ‘Now that Ireland has voted “yes” to same-sex marriage, it will be widely believed that this trend is unstoppable and those who oppose it will end up looking like people who supported the slave trade.
‘It is possible. But, in fact, history has many examples of admired ideas which look like the future for a bit and then run out of steam: high-rise housing, nationalisation, asbestos, Esperanto, communism.
‘The obsession with gay rights and identity, and especially with homosexual marriage, seems to be characteristic of societies with low birth rates and declining global importance. Rising societies with growing populations see marriage as the key to the future of humanity, so they think it must be between a man and a woman.
‘Only when countries like India, Nigeria or Egypt introduce same-sex marriage will I retract the above’.