We thought we would remind people of this insightful documentary by reporter Sally Sara. While Australia agonises over whether to let same sex couples marry, conservative Ireland has come out with a resounding “I do”.
Sally Sara journeys across Ireland to discover why this deeply Catholic country became the first in the world to say yes to gay marriage in a popular vote.
You can watch this program on ABC TV – Foreign Correspondent – available online for FREE via iView CLICK HERE
Below is an overview from ABC TV. @
Just over two decades ago in Ireland a gay man could be jailed for having sex. For centuries the moral authority of the Catholic Church there went unchallenged, its word followed as gospel in people’s everyday lives.
So how did Ireland’s gay marriage referendum end up with nearly two thirds of voters backing the Yes case? What united enough straights and gays, old and young, city and country folk to upend tradition and call into question the unique role of the Church?
“We came from being so marginalised, it feels like a dream.” – Kieran Rose, marriage equality campaigner
As she travels across Ireland, from quiet rural hamlets to flamboyant LGBT marches in Dublin, reporter Sally Sara discovers that slick campaigning by the gay lobby was just part of the reason for the vote.
“There’s very little families in Ireland that don’t have a gay brother, sister, son, daughter, niece or nephew. Everyone knows someone that’s gay.” – Jimmy, who’s preparing to marry his partner Tony
Families became the most potent weapon for the Yes case – especially feisty mums.
“The ever-loving God that I believe in would say, ‘You did the right thing’.” – Brighid, 78, Yes campaigner and mother of gay son Padraig
The Church dug in for a No vote. But, as one leading churchman tells Sally Sara, it was caught in a “maelstrom of confusion” with many prominent Catholics taking the Yes side. Its hand was further weakened by historic sex abuse scandals and a growing scepticism among modern Catholics.
“There’s a kind of credibility that’s diminished by the fact that an institution that’s founded on an idea of celibacy is going to put itself forward as an expert on marriage.” – Professor Donncha O’Connell, constitutional law expert