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Ireland / U.S. – A Contrast in Countries

Millions of Americans are congratulating Ireland on their forward-thinking stance on equality today.

As the New York Times reported:

IrelandLGBT shamrock became the first nation to approve same-sex marriage by a popular vote, sweeping aside the opposition of the Roman Catholic Church in a resounding victory Saturday for the gay rights movement and placing the country at the vanguard of social change.

With the final ballots counted, the vote was 62 percent in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, and 38 percent opposed.

The turnout was large — more than 60 percent of the 3.2 million eligible voters cast ballots, and only one district out of 43 voted the measure down.

The UK’s Independent writes:

ireland crowd

In the courtyard in front of Dublin Castle hundreds of men, women and children draped in rainbow flags hugged, cheered and cried as the official results were broadcast on a big screen. Retired teacher, Peter Lynch, who was carrying a sign saying “Thank you Ireland,” said: “This means everything. At last at the age of 60 I’m an equal citizen.”

Well done Ireland, well done. Meanwhile, in the “land of the free”, lawmakers in Virginia, you know… the state with that catchy tourism slogan… what is it again? Oh yeah:

welcome-to-va

they’re not content drafting a “religious liberty” bill that allows business owners to discriminate against their gay citizens. Republican delegate Bob Marshall has proposed a measure in addition to the bill which would allow, as Mark Stern at Slate writes:

… all workers to refuse to “perform, assist, consent to, or participate in any action” that would “violate the religious or moral conviction of such person with respect to same-sex ‘marriage’ or homosexual behavior.” …

“Religious liberty” bills are all the rage among conservative legislators now, right up there with anti-woman legislation. They’re going for it in Louisiana, Arkansas, Georgia, and Utah, to name a few; while states like Indiana and Mississippi have already signed some form or other of these bills into law.

These are purely symbolic gestures, as these laws will likely be ruled unconstitutional; but hating on the gays is how you get your street creds among Republicans and Tea Party types. Doesn’t matter if their son, daughter, brother, sister, or friend is gay; neither blood nor humanity will never override party loyalty.

Now Ireland, a country that has actually endured religious persecution (as opposed to our phony, whiny, Far Right Christians), has found it in their hearts, by overwhelming majority, to accept what they may not all understand, condone, or agree with. Because they love their fellow citizens more than any ideology.

So much for that “American exceptionalism”.

cross-posted @ All Things Democrat

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Filed under Marriage Equality, Politics, Religious Right, Republicans