f Humanisticus: Marriage Equality Coming to Ireland

Monday, 2 July 2012

Marriage Equality Coming to Ireland

The equal marriage debate has final reached Ireland. The Tánaiste (deputy head of government), Eamon Gilmore, has officially endorsed the expansion of marriage rights to homosexual couples. The Tánaiste made his statement of support in a speech on the separation of church and State at Labour’s Tom Johnson Summer School, ‘I don't believe that it should ever be the role of the State to pass judgement on whom a person falls in love with, or whom they want to spend their life with. That is why the issue of same-sex marriage is to be included for consideration by the Constitutional Convention. I believe in gay marriage. The right of gay couples to marry is, quite simply, the civil rights issue of this generation, and, in my opinion, its time has come.’ The Constitutional Convention will discuss possible changes to the constitution and now the issue of marriage equality will be on the agenda. If marriage equality is to be a reality in Ireland however, a referendum would be needed as the constitution must be altered. The referendum would very likely pass as recent polls suggest 70% of the Irish population support marriage equality. The opposition have yet to respond to the Tánaiste’s comments but I’m sure they will utilise the same tired old arguments of unnatural, religious freedom, slippery slope, and whatever other half-baked ludicrous arguments they can come up with in a vain attempt to mask their religious bigotry. But as equal marriage has such high support in Ireland the opposition will not be as fierce as it has been in the US and Britain. It may be said that Eamon Gilmore is only using this issue in an attempt to gain support in a time which sees opinion of his party on a slide, but whatever his motives the issue of marriage equality has been a long time coming and it is about time a senior Irish politician broached the topic.

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