From the editorial board of the New York Times:
In a statement conceding defeat, the Iona Institute, the main opposition group, said it would continue to affirm “the importance of biological ties and of motherhood and fatherhood.” The absurdity of that statement speaks for itself. As soon as the referendum is ratified by Parliament, Ireland will join 19 nations that have legalized same-sex marriage — an honor roll that does not include the United States.
The Irish path to legalizing same-sex marriage was remarkable because advocates have long seen courts and legislative initiatives as easier paths to prevail on an issue that continues to trouble many people on moral and religious grounds. Lawmakers in the United Kingdom approved same-sex marriage in 2013. In the United States, the expanding recognition of marriage rights in 36 states and the District of Columbia has been achieved through lawsuits and legislatures. The Supreme Court is expected to rule next month on a case that could establish a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.
The outcome in Ireland sends an unmistakable signal to politicians and religious leaders around the world who continue to harbor intolerant views against gays and lesbians. It also should offer hope to sexual minorities in Russia, the Arab world and many African nations where intolerance and discriminatory laws remain widespread. The tide is shifting quickly. Even in unlikely places, love and justice will continue to prevail.