Jump to content

Up the Irish!! Good for you!

This topic is 2868 days old and is no longer open for new replies.  Replies are automatically disabled after two years of inactivity.  Please create a new topic instead of posting here.  

Recommended Posts

It's official.....Just one more baby step forward people.




Ireland has voted to legalize gay marriage, both sides say




DUBLIN (AP) — Irish voters have resoundingly backed amending the constitution to legalize gay marriage, leaders on both sides of the Irish referendum declared Saturday after the world's first national vote on the issue.


Related Stories

As the official ballot counting continued, the only question appeared to be how large the "yes" margin of victory from Friday's vote would be. Analysts said the "yes" support was likely to exceed 60 percent nationally when official results are announced later Saturday.


Gay couples hugged and kissed each other amid scenes of jubilation at counting centers and at the official results center in Dublin Castle, whose cobblestoned central square was opened so thousands of revelers could sit in the sunshine and watch the results live on big-screen televisions.


"We're the first country in the world to enshrine marriage equality in our constitution and do so by popular mandate. That makes us a beacon, a light to the rest of the world, of liberty and equality. So it's a very proud day to be Irish," said Leo Varadkar, a Cabinet minister who came out as gay at the start of a government-led effort to amend Ireland's conservative Catholic constitution.


"People from the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community in Ireland are a minority. But with our parents, our families, or friends and co-workers and colleagues, we're a majority," said Varadkar, who watched the votes being tabulated at the County Dublin ballot center.


"For me it wasn't just a referendum. It was more like a social revolution," he said.



View gallery


Tally counter Rhonda Donaghy is seen at the RDS count centre, Dublin, Ireland, Saturday, May 23, 201 …

In the first official result, the Dublin North West constituency voted 70.4 percent "yes" to gay marriage. But the outcome was already beyond dispute as observers, permitted to watch the paper ballots being counted at all election centers, offered precise tallies giving the "yes" side an unassailable nationwide lead.


Michael Barron and Jaime Nanci, a gay couple legally married in South Africa five years ago, celebrated with friends at the Dublin City counting center as the reality sank in that, once Ireland's parliament passes the complementary legislation, their foreign marriage will be recognized in their homeland.


"Oh.My.God! We're actually Married now!" Nanci tweeted to his spouse and the world, part of a cavalcade of tweets from Ireland tagged #LandslideOfLove.


Political analysts who have covered Irish referendums for decades agreed that Saturday's emerging landslide marked a stunning generational shift from the 1980s, when voters still firmly backed Catholic Church teachings and overwhelmingly voted against abortion and divorce.



"We're in a new country," said political analyst Sean Donnelly, who called the result "a tidal wave" that has produced pro-gay marriage majorities in even the most traditionally conservative rural corners of Ireland.


View gallery


A yes supporter waits at Dublin castle for the final result in the referendum in Dublin, Ireland, Sa …

"I'm of a different generation," said the gray-haired Donnelly, who has covered Irish politics since the 1970s. "When I was reared up, the church was all powerful and the word 'gay' wasn't even in use in those days. How things have moved from my childhood to now. It's been a massive change for a conservative country."


Ireland's deputy prime minister, Labour Party leader Joan Burton, said Ireland was becoming "a rainbow nation with a huge amount of diversity." She said while campaigning door to door, she met older gay people who described how society made them "live in a shadow and apart," and younger voters who were keen to ensure that Irish homosexuals live "as free citizens in a free republic."


The "yes" side ran a creative, compelling campaign that harnessed the power of social media to mobilize young voters, tens of thousands of whom voted for the first time Friday. The vote came five years after parliament approved marriage-style civil partnerships for gay couples.


Those seeking a "no" outcome described their defeat as almost inevitable, given that all of Ireland's political parties and most politicians backed the legalization of homosexual unions.


David Quinn, leader of the Catholic think tank Iona Institute, said he was troubled by the fact that no political party backed the "no" cause.



View gallery


Yes supporters celebrate as first results in the Irish referendum start to come through at Dublin ca …

"We helped to provide a voice to the hundreds of thousands of Irish people who did vote no. The fact that no political party supported them must be a concern from a democratic point of view," he said.


Fianna Fail party leader Michael Martin, a Cork politician whose opposition party is traditionally closest to the Catholic Church, said he couldn't in good conscience back the anti-gay marriage side because "it's simply wrong in the 21st century to oppress people because of their sexuality."


Some in Martin's party — the perennial heavyweight in Irish politics but decimated since its ouster from power following Ireland's 2010 international bailout — did privately oppose the amendment, but only one spoke out in favor of the "no" side.


John Lyons, one of just four openly gay lawmakers in the 166-member parliament, waved the rainbow flag of the Gay Pride movement in the Dublin City counting center and cried a few tears of joy. He paid special credit to the mobilization of younger voters, many of whom traveled home from work or studies abroad to vote.


"Most of the young people I canvassed with have never knocked on a door in their lives," Lyons said. "This says something about modern Ireland. Let's never underestimate the electorate or what they think."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's an article from before the vote with a nifty chart showing the state of gay and transgender rights in Europe, which is kind of fascinating and sometimes unexpected. The UK (excluding Northern Ireland, which doesn't recognize marriage equality) is first and Belgium, home to the forum's very own Steven Draker, is second. Unsurprisingly, Russia is near the bottom. Only Azerbaijan fares worse.




I'm happy to see that Ireland's electorate voted to make same-sex marriage legal. However, I also do not believe granting equal rights should be up for the popular vote.


It's true that equal rights shouldn't be up for a vote, but there's a distinction between human rights that we as individuals recognize (the best equivalent in traditional political theory being the concept of natural rights) and rights that are guaranteed through a constitution or some other means. One would think that if there were an argument that marriage equality is an enforceable legal right under, say, the European Declaration of Rights, which I'm assuming Ireland is bound by, it would already have been made. In addition, winning a vote is more definitive a victory than winning in court. Opponents can only argue that the majority is nevertheless wrong, not that the decision was imposed by the courts and is fundamentally anti-democratic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

However, I also do not believe granting equal rights should be up for the popular vote.

From what I have read, this was a deliberate decision of the the Government. It was widely believed that same-sex marriage could be authorised by an ordinary act of the Oireachtas, but it was not certain that it would survive an appeal to the courts. What they did by holding a referendum was brave, and could have ended up being crazy-brave if it had lost. The referendum amended the constitution to define marriage as a union between two persons regardless of gender, putting marriage equality beyond doubt. (Constitutional amendments in Ireland can only be made by referendum.) Beyond that it makes it almost impossible for it to be reversed, something that would not have applied if it were done by legislation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has someone notified the Archbishop of San Francisco that even traditionally Catholic Ireland supports marriage equality? He might (might) learn something from this turn of events. Congratulations to Ireland!





Well yes, the Irish people have spoken. But the Irish Catholic Church was still against the measure.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been looking forward to my trip to Dublin this summer and now I'm even more EXCITED!!!!


Ah, but does that mean you're hoping to marry a fine Irish lad?

And consequently become unavailable for compensated companionship?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...