Irish look likely to approve same-sex marriage

Although all the votes have not been tallied and there are no exit polls, the votes that have come in so far indicate that the people of Ireland have decided that it is time recognize the obvious, that same-sex couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples, including the right to marry.

Early indications are that Ireland has voted in favor of same-sex marriage, Irish media reported Saturday, as the process of counting votes in the landmark referendum continues.

Its passage would make Ireland the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular vote.

There was speculation that opposition to the measure might have been understated in the run-up to the poll because, amid the heated debate, people have been shy of saying they plan to vote “no.”

But public service broadcaster RTE and other media outlets reported that early indications were that the “yes” vote would win out.

Health Minister Leo Varadkar also predicted a win, asking on Twitter whether any constituency would in fact vote “no.”

I liked these gracious comments by active campaigner against the move.

David Quinn — a director of the Iona Institute, a conservative Catholic think tank that advocated against legalizing same-sex marriage — conceded defeat as he tweeted, “Congratulations to the Yes side. Well done. #MarRef.”

A news release from the Iona Institute also paid tribute to the “yes” campaign’s “handsome victory,” while thanking all the thousands of people who campaigned on the “no” side.

Another prominent opponent of same-sex marriage, the group Mothers and Fathers Matter, also congratulated the “yes” campaign on a win, saying: “This is their day, and they should enjoy it.”

“Though at times this campaign was unpleasant for people on all sides, nobody who involves themselves in a campaign does so with anything but the good of their country at heart. There is no better way to resolve difference than the way we are using today.”

Somehow I cannot imagine the opponents of same-sex marriage in the US saying anything similar if such a thing happened in the US. They will go ballistic and warn that it is the end of civilization as we know it and that we have taken a major step toward ending up in hell.

A curious fact that I learned just this morning is that although same-sex marriage has been legal in England, Wales, and Scotland since 2014, it remains forbidden in Northern Ireland. That surely cannot last long.

Well done, people of Ireland!

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