Erin Goes Gay-Friendlier

I’ve always had a special affection for the Irish. It may have to do with my loves for salmon and corned beef – or perhaps it is the fact that Irish cheer, laughing Irish eyes, shimmering red hair and a sexy brogue (if accompanied by intelligence, independence, tolerance and an aversion to violence) send me over the moon. The spouse is a child of Ireland – County Kerry – and, to this day, the sight of a sweet-faced Irish lass over the age of majority sends my productivity down to zero. So learning that most of those polled in Ireland support marriage equality kicked my heart into doing a lusty jig of joy.

A government-approved working group investigating the feasibility of introducing civil-partnership legislation conducted the poll with the help of the Irish Examiner; the final report is slated for release in June. Questions on the survey covered matters including law, finances and family relationships and the effect legally recognized same-gender unions may have on them.

From Ireland On-Line:

Fifty-one per cent of respondents to the Irish Examiner/Red C survey said they were in favour of giving legal status to gay couples, while exactly half also said they would be happy to allow gay people to adopt children.

Acceptance of homosexuality was found to be strongest in the younger age groups and among people with higher income brackets.

It must be noted that even Ireland isn’t perfect: Just over 16 percent of those polled – primarily men – don’t approve of homosexuality at all and one-third said they would be uncomfortable knowing that they had a gay person in their family. (Wow.)

Overall, though there still is a long way to go, things are looking up: The luck of the Irish may be shining upon those interested in equality. As Eoin Collins, director of policy change at the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), told the Examiner: “When you consider where we have come from where you could be imprisoned for life for being gay, this is definitely progress. People are changing.”

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