Not long ago, the 62-38 percent vote Saturday in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage “would have been unthinkable,” says The New York Times.
In 1922, after Ireland broke from Britain, “it was a virtual colony to the Vatican, a theocracy in all but name,” says a separate Times article.
Ireland decriminalized homosexuality only in 1993, the Roman Catholic Church dominates the education system, and abortion remains illegal except when a mother’s life is at risk.
But the influence of the church has waned amid scandals in recent years, while attitudes, especially among the young, have changed.
The church is “so out of tune with the needs of the people,” Father Brendan Hoban, cofounder of the Association of Catholic Priests, says in The Irish Times.