If there is any issue on which religious conservatives seem to have resoundingly lost the culture wars, it is on gay marriage. It gets approved by courts or state ballots in state after state here in the U.S., and it is also seeing some success overseas. Keith Mann knows that nearly all of Western Europe is gay marriage friendly by either allowing the marriage outright or some form of union between same-sex couples. The United Kingdom, all of the Scandinavian countries as well as France, Spain and Portugal all allow gay marriage. The most notable holdout in these far western parts of Europe had been Ireland.
Ireland made international news recently by voting to allow same-sex marriage in their country. It was not a small win either with an outcome of 62 percent in favor. This has the Catholic Church worried as they are still against this form of marriage, and they are seeking new ways to communicate to young people on this issue. There seems to be a generational dividing line where most young people view this as a cut and dry civil rights issue. Many young people know gay people or have a gay friend and don’t get why they shouldn’t be allowed to marry like anyone else. The Catholic Church will have its work cut out for it. Also, Northern Ireland will now be the focal point of legalization efforts as it is the last enclave in Europe west of Germany still not allowing same-sex marriage.