We wanted to write about the good news from Ireland earlier, but it happened over a long weekend and was a good excuse to drink a bunch of Guinness. Now that we’re back in the office and mostly recovered, we’re happy to acknowledge that on May 23, Ireland became the first nation to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote — 62% to 38% — despite opposition from the Roman Catholic Church and other anti-LGBT groups.
The reaction on Twitter over the weekend was immediate and largely joyful, with plenty of kissing, rainbows and shamrock emojis to be had.
There’s a big gay rainbow over Dublin, if that’s not Jesus giving the Yes vote I don’t know what is pic.twitter.com/p38LKtLgOv
— Karl (@karltims) May 22, 2015
Is every “rainbow over Ireland” photograph you saw actually from this weekend? Probably not. Does it matter in the long run? Nah.
From the YouTube community, LGBT icons were quick to join in the celebrations and urge for similar progress from other countries.
???? proud of you, ireland! ???? — Tyler Oakley (@tyleroakley) May 23, 2015
Let’s move to Ireland and get gay married ????????????????????????????
— Neil McNeil (@Neil_McNeil) May 23, 2015
There was also a ridiculous number of leprechaun jokes, which we suppose was unavoidable:
Sure, today, #Ireland has gay marriage. But that’s just a slippery slope to man-on-leprechaun marriage.
— John Coons (@JohnMCoons) May 23, 2015
The one and only JK Rowling chimed in with her delighted fans, suggesting that now Harry Potter‘s Dumbledore could run off with Gandalf to Ireland and tie the knot. (Who’s writing the crossover fanfic, come on, guys.)
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 23, 2015
Of course, not everybody was happy with the vote. Westboro Baptist Church was reliably outraged by the Dumbledore/Gandalf nuptuals and threatened to picket the event (guys it’s not real, they’re fictional wiza– oh just forget it), earning themselves this smackdown from Rowling.
It was a bad weekend in general for WBC, as it turns out they got the Irish flag wrong on their picket signs and ended up protesting the Ivory Coast by mistake.
— PinkNews (@pinknews) May 26, 2015
On a more serious note, many online activists pointed out that while they were happy with the outcome, putting human rights up to a vote was itself problematic.
Others pointed out that anti-LGBT bigotry is still a serious problem for many people — for instance, British YouTuber rhymingwithoranges, who got yelled at in the street for holding his boyfriend’s hand the day Ireland passed marriage equality.
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