The vote is official: 62-percent of the electorate in Ireland has approved marriage equality for the Emerald Isle, making them the first country in the world to approve by popular vote a constitutional change in favor of lesbians and gays getting married. It was such an overwhelming majority that the opposition leaders conceded defeat before all the votes were in because the writing was so clearly on the wall.
In both Dublin and Cork, people reported seeing rainbows in the sky, a sign that even the heavens were rejoicing in this amazing moment.
The Church of Ireland, however, defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and the result of this referendum does not alter this.
The church has often existed, in history, with different views from those adopted by the state, and has sought to live with both conviction and good relationships with the civil authorities and communities in which it is set. Marriage services taking place in a Church of Ireland church, or conducted by a minister of the Church of Ireland may – in compliance with church teaching, liturgy and canon law – continue to celebrate only marriage between a man and a woman.
We would now sincerely urge a spirit of public generosity, both from those for whom the result of the referendum represents triumph, and from those for whom it signifies disaster.