A historic watershed for our country

A historic watershed for our country

The Catholic Church must now leave behind its traditional obsession with sexual matters

Pages of newsprint will be devoted today, and in the coming days – both here in Ireland and abroad – to the gay marriage referendum. I have a few points to make. Firstly, the result is a “historic watershed” in Ireland’s social and political landscape. For a country that was long steeped in a hugely questionable Jansenistic attitude to morality – and particularly sexual morality – it is a moment of liberation, not just for gays, but for all of Ireland. Gay men and women are now explicitly recognised as equal citizens in every respect by our constitution. Their exclusion, marginalisation and persecution is not merely over; it can never return.

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