When Ireland went to the polls last week and overwhelmingly voted yes to making gay marriage a constitutional right, it made me proud of my bloodline. I went to high school in Dublin for a semester in 1967, the year of the Summer of Love. I loved Dublin, but as a longhaired hippie from Brooklyn, where people were turning on, tuning in and dropping out, I remember Ireland as a culturally repressed land.
But younger Dubs didn’t care. Almost every large Irish family or group of friends had gays in it, ordinary working lads and lasses who happened to prefer same-sex companionship.
Then in the 1980s, sex scandals rocked the ancient foundation of the Irish Catholic church. Thousands of victims of clergy rape were revealed in the Catholic child-care network of orphanages, reformatories, hostels and seminaries.
Last week, three of five Irish citizens voted “yes” to gay marriage.