A New Era For Global LGBT Rights Begins After Ireland’s Vote for Same-Sex Marriage

When historians write about the global LGBT rights movement, they will probably divide their timeline into “Before Ireland” and “After Ireland.” Not only did the vote held Friday make Ireland the first country in the world to enact marriage equality by popular vote, but the Yes side crushed the No side by a margin of 25 points. Before Ireland, a country whose sodomy law wasn’t struck down until 1993, the goal of changing a nation’s mind about LGBT rights seemed daunting if not impossible. After Ireland, it seems like it may just be a matter of time even in countries where public support for LGBT equality remains very low and where powerful religious institutions are vocally opposed.