Saturday, May 23, 2015

Up the Irish Voter!

As a beloved Irish-American would put it, this is a big f'n deal: the voters of the Republic of Ireland legalized same-sex marriage by a wide margin (62.1% yea, 37.9% nay). For a country with a populace that is over 80% Roman Catholic, this vote constitutes a real wake-up call for the Roman Catholic Church- there is a wide gulf between the pulpit and the pews, with the laity tending to be kinder and more tolerant that the clergy. Here in the 'States, approximately 54% of Roman Catholics support same-sex marriage. Even the Pope has lightened up on LGBT people.

It is hard to predict the effect that such an overwhelming rejection of Church dogma by a population that has traditionally been seen as orthodox will have on the Church as a whole. In Ireland, though, evidence of horrific abuse on the part of Church-run institutions probably played a factor in the vote, as did the sheer fact of demographics- in a society in which large families were the norm, everybody is bound to have at least one LGBT relative.

The one blot on this otherwise outstanding day is the fact that Phil Chevron didn't survive to see this day. His song Under Clery's Clock was a tear-jerker that described the risks inherent to same-sex attraction in a society which made such relationships illegal:

Good on the voters, now let's hope that this vote is just the start of a worldwide human rights campaign for LGBT folks.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Let's sing!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...


thenthelightningwill 7 years ago

They rock at Rocky's in NYC, and they rock at Byrnes Pub in Columbus, OH.

Chickpea said...

Fantastic news, well done voters of Ireland! Finger pointing and blame is rampant, failure to teach people about marriage is to blame according to a prominent Catholic on the radio this morning. (Nothing to do with abuse then!) In a overwhelmingly Catholic school system I personally doubt this, but I'm sure their efforts to teach/brain wash will be doubled.

mikey said...

In general, I'm very uncomfortable with referendums and popular votes deciding on human rights for one group or another. It's how you get everything from slavery to California's notorious Proposition 8. In this case, the Irish voters did the 'right' thing, but it could have gone the other way and added to the misery of being a 2nd class citizen.

Human rights are protected by constitutional dictate and supported by judicial interpretation - that's precisely why American conservatives are so outraged at Judicial support for marriage equality. They call it 'legislating from the bench', but like so many things they say, that's just a lie. The right was always there, in plain sight in the 14th amendment with the Equal Protection Clause. The judiciary's job was merely to apply the constitutional law as written.

The problem with the Irish vote is other nations can be encouraged to use a popular referendum to cement discrimination in their society and claim the same legitimacy as we happily grant the Irish.

It's good news, but it's not the way to do it...