Marriage equality referendum — one year on

It’s a year, one full year, since Ireland voted in a referendum to make all our citizens equal, and the Irish people voted overwhelmingly to do the right thing.

As a veteran of previous referendums, I wasn’t sure they would but I’m glad to say I was wrong.

As somebody who didn’t have a dog in the fight, I was glad that my LGBTQ friends were vindicated.

As an Irish citizen, I was proud to have contributed whatever small thing I could.

The Irish people decided to do the decent thing. Marriage equality is now the law of the land and yet there are many who fail to accept the democratic will of the Irish people. The Iona Institute lobby group have pumped out one self-pitying article after another bewailing the fact that the Irish people voted the wrong way in a democratic referendum. One authoritarian ideologue after another has berated us for failing to obey their instructions.

If you thought oppression disappeared in 1922, you made a big mistake. They haven’t gone away, you know, and the oppression only got worse. After independence, Ireland was delivered into the hands of an overbearing elite of wealthy people who, of course, had always been in control but who now held the levers of power.

It comes as a shock to most of us who didn’t share in the privilege and the wealth of these people for generations. When we see them shuffle out of the darkness, as we saw last year in the Marriage Equality debate, we are genuinely shocked. We gaze on them and we ask ourselves how we could not have known about this layer of society. This layer that holds so much wealth and so much entitlement. This layer that considers itself superior to the rest of us, even though there is no objective reason to justify such an opinion.

I went to the radio debate held by Newstalk and of course the attendance was as diverse as you might expect. There was the lunatic fringe, represented by John Waters. There was the idealistic group of committed youngish people. There was a bunch of battle-worn old skeptics like myself.

And over there in the corner was a crowd of sour-looking, prosperous-looking elders (sad to say) dressed like the audience of the Late Late Show and clearly outraged at the notion that anyone would have the gall to disagree with them.

Otherwise known as The Rich.

I found them hilarious, but the louder I laughed at John Waters, the deeper became the scowls of the ladies in the twin-sets until eventually a stern-looking old fellow in a suit walked up to the young people in front of us and gave them a harsh stare, like a teacher from the 1960s threatening physical abuse on a class of six-year-olds.

I got the blame, naturally, for laughing at John Waters but I’ll wear that badge with pride. The rich old people might well have never heard of him but they seemed happy to take any lunatic they could get, given the utter stupidity of their cause. In fairness to them, the older I get, the stupider I get but at least my stupidity isn’t aimed at depriving my fellow citizens of freedom. That’s where religious madness comes in.

It’s a full year since our brothers and sisters won full recognition but at least it happened. Ireland legalised same-sex marriage and the people who voted for it included elderly aunties, raving Commies and quiet-minded religious people who understood the notion of decency.

As I said, I had no dog in the fight, but  that might have been a little inaccurate. Of course I have LGBT friends who might wish to be married, but more importantly, the dog I have in this fight is the dog guarding us all against intolerance and religious extremism.


Ancient longing for power behind religious opposition to same-sex marriage amendment

Same-Sex Marriage — Anti-Equality Lobby Recruit The Brady Bunch

Lawyers For Yes tear apart every last Opus Dei lie about marriage equality

Father Ted meets Monty Python as Brother Dougal hits Limerick in the fight against the evil gays


39 thoughts on “Marriage equality referendum — one year on

  1. “It’s a year, one full year, since Ireland voted in a referendum to make all our citizens equal, and the Irish people voted overwhelmingly to do the right thing.”

    No we did not. I voted for marriage equality, I also voted for equality in the eligibility to run for President of Ireland. Given the depth of its defeat I can only assume that a sizeable number of LGBT people voted against it. Some are more equal than others.

    Equality is about freedom of choice. LGBT citizens can choose to marry, 21 year olds cannot choose to run for the presidency. They can serve in the military, sign contracts, run businesses, employ people but they can’t be president. The chances of them being successful is minute, and I doubt if I’d ever give such youth my vote but that is not the point. Some are more equal than others.

  2. One vote didn’t go the way you might have hoped, but that doesn’t invalidate the other result.

  3. Didn’t say it did, delighted the marriage referendum passed but we did not vote to make all our citizens equal.

  4. Yes we did. You have to read the statement in the context of marriage equality, since that’s what the post is about.

    I also wrote a post about the presidential thing, by the way. At the time, I was voting No, but now I think I was probably wrong. However, I suspect most 21-year-olds won’t be feeling particularly oppressed by the result, unlike most same-sex couples if the marriage referendum had gone the other way.

  5. “That forces us to the inescapable conclusion that they’re liars, trying to stir up hysteria against same-sex marriages because the very idea scares the emotionally-impaired daylights out of them.”…nice to see to tolerant debate on this issue , typical leftist intolerance to others views after all the left are responsible the greatest loss of life/genocide in the 20th century, Stalin, Mao etc

  6. Bock, point taken regarding the referendum. What I found disappointing / hypocritical was the campaigning for equality by LGBT (justified) and the rejection of equality for others.

    Constellation, that is some leap, from disagreement to genocide by the Left. If your’re blaming the left, where does Hitler fit in? Or Pinochet, or the Argentinian Junta, or the Turks?

  7. I recall a time in 2004, when I was a manager of a North side Hotel, a lesbian couple begged me to allow them to have their wedding reception at the hotel. I had difficulty understanding their panic and desperation in trying to find a venue that would host their event. But as I’ve learned over time, one has to dig a little to find the more unsavoury elements of Irish society, as they tend to keep things like pedophile priests, the court’s abuse of father’s rights, mental illness in general, hidden from view, or at least that’s how it used to be. Unlike in America, which has shown an uncanny ability at exposing their societal hypocrisy like de-funding veterans affairs while bankrolling amnesty for illegal immigrants.

    Having been raised in West Hollywood (gay mecca), allowing two people of the same sex to marry seems like a harmless act to me. But for Ireland to support gay marriage, demonstrates that if has come a very long way in a very short time.

    However, when people start pushing to use the loo that’s meant for a gender opposite to theirs solely because they Identify as that gender, never mind the package their holding, you can look to society’s acceptance of Gay Marriage as the first step towards equal rights for all. Its a slippery slope, but enjoy the ride.

  8. I’ve been in many places in France with unisex loos. I presume France has slipped to the point of no return?

  9. Unisex bathrooms is one thing. But a man demanding his right to use the public ladies because he feels like a woman is something different all together. Unisex bathrooms would be an answer, but an expensive one if it became law, which is being shoved down our throat by the left.

  10. The Left gets around. From genocide in the 20th century to currently shoving laws for unisex toilets down (I presume non left) throats, they don’t stop.

  11. Can’t be long before someone blames Liberals.

    Only in America would people use the word Liberal as an insult. (Apart from the usual small number of home-grown flakes, obviously).

  12. You need a like button on this blog.

    Believe it or not, CNN is as biased towards the progressive/liberal/globalist/left as Fox is towards conservatives. But that is for a different thread. One day. sigh.

    Liberal: Too much of anything is a bad thing.

  13. As I suggested, the word Liberal is not a term of abuse this side of the Atlantic, except among a small cohort who have a cartoonish understanding of politics, as found in America.

    Do you think too much fairness is a bad thing?

  14. There are many examples of how fairness, as you call it, can be and is abused. An example of this is centered around taxes. It is proposed by the left, that I pay more taxes to provide a safety net for others as well as myself. Some of these people are not even from my country and entered illegally. If my hard earned money is spent providing for others, where is their imputus to work hard, if it all, to look after themselves? More to the point, where is my imputus to work hard if my gains are taken from me and given to others. This is one reality that isnt fair, fair to me or my family. The fatal flaw with the left’s agenda, is that it requires everyone to go along and that is not possible, insofaras there is no precedent for it. But if you dare voice opposition to it, one is guaranteed to suffer ad hominem attacks, censorship and vilification.

  15. Slow down there. You still haven’t defined the left, as I asked you to do.

    Can you start from there please?

  16. I beleive it has french origins regarding seating arrangements at dinners hosted by the elites. If you were considered to be in oppositon to the establishment, you sat to the left of the host, those in favour sat to the right.

  17. I can’t figure him out. His history is much more centrist, and to that end, I do believe he represents an end to the old guard republican party. I think he is what is known as a Reagan Democrat which makes total sense when you think of it.

  18. That’s all very well, and the history lesson might be enlightening to the few readers of this site who didn’t know about France, if it happened to be accurate, which it is not but still, what do you understand by the term “The Left” as you employ it today?

  19. I’ve not studied it, though by association it is used to descibe systems and persons who align themselves with socialist principles. So to that end, Bernie Saunders (BTW, did you know his brother is a labour party politician in the UK?) fits my understanding of a leftist politician. Taking from the haves, legitimate or not, and spreading it around equally, eliminating class, religion, skin pigmentation or borders, attending parochial schools, having government making decisions on behalf of and instead of enabling independent thought. I could go on if you want.

  20. I’m afraid that’s not good enough.

    If you call people The Left but you don’t understand what the term means, then you don’t know what you’re saying.

  21. I understand what I know. But if you have a different interpretation, than in all seriousness, I am very much open to your view. I’m always willing to learn something new.

  22. The point is that when you use the term “Left”, you’re inviting your readers to agree with your understanding.

    Therefore, could you please set out what your understanding of the term is?

  23. Your question: “Therefore, could you please set out what your understanding of the term is?”

    My answers: My understanding of the term ‘left’, in a political sense, refers to anyone or anything that opposes a system of social hierarchy. Possibly considered radical.

    In a physical sense, its anything west while facing north

  24. Anything that opposes a system of social hierarchy.

    Could you elaborate on your understanding of the term “social hierarchy”?

    I don’t mean to be a nuisance, but it is important that we share the same definitions.

  25. My sense is that you relish the opportunity to trap me in the rat hole you feel I have dug for myself, and I’ll go along. I am fully aware that you view my world view as the antithesis to yours, but I on the other hand do not share that view. However, you’ll have to read thru all my ramblings to get to my answer.

    I believe in rules, I believe in lines of succession, I believe in paying your dues, I believe in wisdom by experience, I believe in success through hard work. I believe that you also believe in these things.

    I believe that the difference between you and I is what our interpretation of fairness is?

    A social hierarchy is a system established and maintained by those in a position to impose it on others. The church employs it, the crown employs it, socialists employ it, capitalists employ it. It is used to keep order, which I prefer, to ensure loyalists among the rank and file. basically its a club to keep certain people out.

    Clubs suck!

  26. Why do you feel the need to personalise the conversation?

    Isn’t that very childish? Or alternatively, isn’t that a very American way to close down a debate?

    Don’t forget, we’re not in America now.

  27. So I’m reminded every time I visit.

    Why do you feel the need to belittle me, due to your lack of understanding.

    If the roles were reversed, and you were visiting my blog, I’d be honored that someone from a different country would take the time to engage me.

    I don’t recall closing down anything, You asked me to elaborate, and I did.

  28. It’s hard to see why you feel belittled.

    All I’m doing is asking you to agree on a common ground of understanding. How else is it possible for people to have a rational discussion?

  29. I explained that “social hierarchy” needs definition, since we don’t have a common understanding of the term you’re using. If you could clarify that, we could continue a civilised debate. Nobody would be trapping you in any rat hole.

  30. Forgive me. I didn’t think it was a definition but so be it.

    Perhaps other commenters will explain it to me.

  31. “A social hierarchy is a system established and maintained by those in a position to impose it on others.”

    “So to that end, Bernie Sanders fits my understanding of a leftist politician. Taking from the haves, legitimate or not, and spreading it around equally, eliminating class,”

    You might like this –

    ‘In his Wealth and Poverty class at U.C.- Berkeley, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich discusses the grave economic and social consequences that may result if the gulf between rich and poor continues to widen.’

  32. I’ll try again..

    RE: ” having government making decisions on behalf of and instead of enabling independent thought.”

    “Myth numero deux: The critical choice is between the free market or government.


    The free market doesn’t exist in nature. It’s created by government, by legislators, administrative agencies and courts and it’s enforced by government.

    All the ongoing decisions about how the market is organised. What gets patented, and patent protection for how long.. The human genome. Who can declare bankrupsty; corporations, homeowners, student debtors.

    What contracts are fraudelent…Insider trader…Or coercive..preditory loans, manditory arbitration. And how much market power is excessive? Comcast and Time Warner for example.

    All of these decisions depend on goverment”

  33. I think the linkies are the issue.

    Anyways, that was from Bob Reich – 3 Economic Myths.
    You can find it on youtube.

    Excuse the terrible spellings.

    Fraudulent, bankruptcy etc.. typed fast on a sticky note.

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