After Legalizing Same Sex Marriage, Overturning Abortion Ban, Ireland Ousts Blasphemy Law

Ireland, an island in the North Atlantic and a part of the United Kingdom known popularly for its beer and drinking habits around the world should now be known for its progressive and liberal thinking.

Ireland, deeply conservative, predominantly under influence of the Roman Catholic Church have taken brave decisions opposing the Church and the people of Ireland are surely praiseworthy.

The people of Ireland in recent years have voted and overturned three major laws which many countries only desire of.

1. Same Sex Marriage : 

In May 2015, Ireland became the first country to approve same sex marriage. 1.2 million people voted in favour of same sex marriage which comprises 62 percent of the total votes of a large 60.5 percent turnout.

DUBLIN, IRELAND – MAY 23: Supporters in favour of same-sex marriage pose for a photograph as thousands gather in Dublin Castle square awaiting the referendum vote outcome on May 23. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Leo Varadkar who is currently the taoiseach (The Taoiseach is the prime minister, chief executive and head of government of Ireland) is openly gay.

Varadkar has his roots in India. His family comes from Varad village in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra.

(Leo Varadkar)

2. Abortion Ban :

In May 2018, a whooping majority of 66.4 percent voters in the Republic of Ireland voted to overturn the ban on abortion.

Crowds celebrate outside Dublin Castle after the result was announced

This historic vote is a slap on the face of the conservative Catholic Church whose traditional teachings opposes almost everything from contraception to divorce.

Reacting to the result, Varadkar, who campaigned in favour of liberalisation, said it was “a historic day for Ireland,” and that a “quiet revolution” had taken place.

3. Blasphemy Law : 

On 27 October 2018, a total of 951,650 people voted in favour of the removal of blasphemy law which amounts to 64.85 percent votes.

Blasphemy is the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence to a deity, or sacred things, or toward something considered sacred or inviolable.

It has been over 150 years since anyone was prosecuted for blasphemy in Ireland, but the country had passed a blasphemy law in 2009.

“The population has moved on, [people are] no longer controlled by the Catholic church,” said Michael Nugent, chairperson of Atheist Ireland after the removal of the medieval law.