The Revolution Continues: Ireland Becomes First Nation to Legalize Gay Marriage via Popular Vote

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Ben Cohen
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The world truly is turning a corner when it comes to accepting homosexuality as a completely normal and healthy facet of human existence. In a remarkable social shift, Ireland has voted to legalize gay marriage by popular vote. The traditionally Catholic country  only decriminalized homosexuality 22 years ago, making the overwhelming support for it all the more surprising. Reports the BBC:

The Republic of Ireland has voted overwhelmingly to legalise same-sex marriage in a historic referendum.

More than 62% voted in favour of amending the country's constitution to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.

It is the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage through a popular vote.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said it was a "small country with a big message for equality" around the world.

The referendum was held 22 years after homosexual acts were decriminalised in the Republic of Ireland.

In the wake of the news, the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin told RTÉ News that "I think really that the church needs to do a reality check, a reality check right across the board, to look at the things it’s doing well, to look at the areas where we really have to start and say, ‘Look, have we drifted away completely from young people?’ ” He added that the vote was, “an overwhelming vote in one direction,” and that he understood and valued the way gays and lesbians felt after the landmark legislation, saying that “they feel this is something which is enriching the way they live.”

If Ireland can change and an Archbishop can reach out to the gay community with words of understanding, we truly are on the brink of a complete revolution. And about time too.