The Catholic Church and Homosexuality
Lesbian, Gay. Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights in Ireland are among the most liberal in the world. In 1993, homosexual acts were decriminalized; in 2010, civil partnerships between same-sex couples were legalized; in 2015, a referendum overwhelmingly approved same-sex marriage, and a thirty-fourth amendment was added to the Irish Constitution, to the effect that “marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction to their sexes.” On November 17, 2015 same-sex marriage became officially legal in Ireland, and the first same-sex marriage was joyfully celebrated the following day. We believe that Ireland is sold short, however, by declaring it among the most liberal in the world for LGBT rights. It should be declared among the most Christian in the world, for the rights of LGBT persons are deeply embedded in Jesus’ great commandment, second after only “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart”: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30-31).