Same-sex marriages (SSM), civil unions, etc.
Attaining same-sex marriage in Ireland
Same-sex marriage (SSM) in large English-speaking countries:
In 2014-MAY, when this essay was last updated, marriage for same-sex couples had been legalized in 17 countries, including many English speaking countries: Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wales. In the United States, they could also marry in 17 states, the District of Columbia, and within 8 Native reservations.
The holdouts were three countries, all democracies, where the public is strongly in favor of same-sex marriage and thus marriage equality appears inevitable: Australia, Ireland, and Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland is located to the North-East of Ireland. They co-habit on the same island.
The predominate religion in both Northern Ireland and Ireland is Roman Catholicism whose hierarchy is totally opposed to marriage equality. They have stated that same-sex marriage would attempt to treat two different concepts -- opposite-sex marriage and same-sex marriage -- as equals even though the Church considers them very different.
Fortunately for the LGBT community, and the future of their civil rights, the authority of the Catholic Church in both countries has been severely weakened by the discovery of massive levels of child sexual abuse by a small minority of priests, and the subsequent failed attempt by the Church to cover-up the knowledge of the abuse. Partly as a result of this, public support for marriage equality in Ireland may well be the highest of any country in the world. There is a near consensus among commentators that same-sex marriage in Ireland is inevitable. It is supported, with various levels of enthusiasm, by all of the political parties.
Religious identification in Ireland:
During 2005 and 2012, the Gallup International Association conducted massive studies of religion among 57 countries worldwide and produced a "Global Index of Religion and Atheism. 2,3 They asked the question:
"Irrespective of whether you attend a place of worshhip or not would you say you are a religious person, not a religious person or a convinced atheist?"
During the six years between 2005 and 2011, the polling agency found that the percentage of the adult Irish population who considered themselves a religious person dropped by 22 percentage points from 69% to 47%. Globally, people who claim to be religious dropped by only 9 percentage points. Vietnam was the only country with a drop greater than 22 percentage points. The margin of error in these surveys was ±3 to 5 percentage points.
Three major milestones in Ireland:
- In 2012, a public opinion poll showed that 75% of adults said they would vote yes in a referendum to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples.
- In 2013, a Convention on the Constitution of Ireland was held. It issued an instruction -- not a suggestion -- to the Irish Government to implement marriage equality.
- Following the instruction of the Convention, the Government of Ireland has promised to hold a referendum on same-sex marriage during the first half of 2015.
Topics covered in this section:
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- The outline map of Ireland that we used in this section was supplied by D-maps.com. See: http://d-maps.com/pays.php?num_pay=198&lang=en Used by permission.
- The terms "Gallup" and "Gallup Poll" often refer to the Gallup Inc. polls, located in Washington, DC. The poll cited above is by Gallup International Association, which is unrelated to Gallup Inc.
- "Redc Opinion Poll, Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism - 2012," WIN-Gallup International, at: http://redcresearch.ie/
Copyright © 2004 to 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2004
Latest update: 2014-MAY-06
Author: B.A. Robinson