Some on social media are surprised Ireland voted so overwhelmingly to legalize gay marriage. One reason may be because Ireland is so predominantly Catholic, and Catholic doctrine says homosexuality is wrong.
As an American Catholic, I think the vote went as it did because more and more Catholics are thinking as I do on this subject.
My conscience tells me that government has absolutely no business defining what marriage — and, more to the point, love — should be about. The Catholic Church believes it should define what marriage is and the government should support that. I don’t agree with that, either.
I accept the Church’s opinion on gay marriage. I’m part of a union between one man and one woman, just as the Church wants it. But that’s my belief system. I don’t believe in imposing a lifestyle on other people.
There’s this notion that a person wakes up one day and decides being gay is a great lifestyle choice. All the people I’ve known over the years who fought against and hid their sexuality have shown me that’s bullshit. They didn’t get a choice. When they denied who they were, they became slaves to shame, escaping through false personas, drugs, and suicide.
No one should be forced to live a lie because of stigmas set down by church and government. No one should be told who and how to love.
I think, quite simply, that there are a lot of people in Ireland — globally, really, — who have had similar experiences with this issue.
So count me among those who are thrilled with the Irish vote.The marriage equality symbol, with a Black Flag twist.