Ireland is leading the way with vote for gay marriage
I have never been as proud of the country of my ancestors as I have been this past week. Ireland voted by more than 62 percent to amend its constitution to allow same-sex marriage – the first country in the world to vote to recognize that same-sex marriage is a basic human right. Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said it was a “small country with a big message for equality” around the world.
I have been a lifelong Catholic whose ancestors emigrated from County Cork to a small rural community of Danville, Ohio. They helped build the second-oldest Catholic Church in Ohio – St. Luke. Several of my relatives are nuns and priests.
Ireland is showing us that to continue to discriminate against our LGBT brothers and sisters is morally wrong. It has been difficult for me, who sings at Mass on Sundays, to support a church that continues to excommunicate clergy who are gay. As one mother said to me recently, “How do I accept a church that does not accept my daughter?” I believe that my church must and will change.
As Kenny said, “With today’s vote, we have disclosed who we are: a generous, compassionate, bold and joyful people.”