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In the wake of Ireland's historic legalization of same-sex marriage by popular referendum, Catholic leaders around the world have lambasted the small island nation. A senior Vatican official called the vote a "defeat for humanity," and the outspoken anti-gay Cardinal Leo Burke has condemned the Irish as "worse than pagans." However, Frank Bruni of the New York Times argues that it actually brings the country more in line with Catholics in general.
"Take a look at this list of countries: Belgium, Canada, Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Brazil, France, Uruguay, Luxembourg and Ireland. Name two things that they have in common.
They don't share a continent, obviously. Or a language.
But in all of them, the Roman Catholic Church has more adherents, at least nominally, than any other religious denomination does.
And all of them belong to the vanguard of 20 nations that have decided to make same-sex marriage legal.
In fact, countries with a Catholic majority or plurality make up half of those where two men or two women can now wed or will soon be able to."
Moreover, a new poll from Buzzfeed reveals that, as was seen in Ireland, Catholic individuals are overwhelmingly inclined to support marriage equality. Spain, Belgium, Ireland, and Argentina have the highest percentage of support for marriage (77%, 69%, 66%, and 56%, respectively), figures which rise to 86%, 78%, 81%, and 75% when it comes to some recognition of same-sex unions.
Additionally, Italy and Mexico, both Catholic majority countries, show overwhelming support for recognition of same-sex unions, with 48% of Italians and 54% of Mexicans supporting full marriage. In fact, the trend carries through to the United States, where 60% of self-identified Catholics support marriage equality. In comparison, more than 62% of Irish people voted for equality during the referendum.
"Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie and Marco Rubio, among others, have cited their Catholic devotion as a barrier to embracing same-sex marriage. But seldom does anyone point out that this explanation puts these men in the minority, not majority, of Catholics in the United States. Their stances win them more political favor among Baptists than among Catholics."
To read the full article, visit the New York Times.