With all the depressing stories about the brutal attacks on people in Paris and Beirut by ISIS dominating the news, I wanted to pass on a bit of good news that might have got buried and that is that same-sex marriage is legal as of today in Ireland. This was a consequence of the referendum that was passed in May.
Although Ireland is not a big country in terms of population, it is quintessentially Catholic in its history and traditions and since the Catholic church has been steadfast in its opposition to it, this is quite a big deal.
When I was in Sri Lanka, I was at a party at a table with some of my wife’s relatives who happen to be staunch Catholics and the discussion turned to US politics and I expressed the opinion that although the political situation was bizarre, there had been some progress on social issues and cited the legalization of same-sex marriage as one item. It was clear that this sentiment was not shared by the group though they were too nice to argue with me about it. They clearly did not approve for all the usual reasons, the one that is publicly expressed being the alleged negative effects on children. I was able to counter that with the actual studies that show no harm plus the fact that gay couples adopt children who might otherwise languish in foster homes their whole lives. I asked what was better for a child, to have two fathers or two mothers or not to have any parents at all?
Of course, the unexpressed reason (especially by this group that would think that explicit discussions about sex were not appropriate n polite company) is the feeling that gay sex is icky. But since it was not stated, I did not have to make the obvious rejoinder that after all, all sex is icky when you think about it.