Ireland – the home of my formative years – has become the first country to legalise gay marriage through referendum. This has been a great step forward for a country that only officially legalised homosexuality twenty-five years ago. It’s a victory for Ireland and a further loosening of the grip that the Catholic Church holds on the throats of Ireland’s people. However, it must be analysed what a vote against gay marriage actually advocates.
In it’s plainest of terms a vote for gay marriage is a vote for equality, and naturally, a vote against is a vote for inequality. Doesn’t this stand to reason? And surely, a vote for gay marriage is a vote in favour of the happiness of others and a vote against is intended to bring sadness to others. There were people who chose to vote in this fashion. They were – thankfully – the clear minority and therefore there opinions are now irrelevant in the eyes of the Irish legal system.
But they do exist!
They put forward tired and deeply flawed arguments about marriage sanctity and religion which are easy to rip to shreds. For instance, the institution of torture and slavery were historically and culturally acceptable practices. I am fully aware of how sadly prevalent they still are. However, how quick would people be to turn out in favour of voting for them?
Moreover, I won’t dwell on the many, many morally outrageous and sadistic practices that have been hailed as virtuous in the bible. I will point out though that the phrase ‘love thy neighbour’ could not be more of an ironically pro-gay marriage slogan. So surely those ivory tower arguments crumble under the slight of pressure.
So, therefore, why are such morally and spiritually misguided arguments allowed to permeate through the generations? Isn’t it surely the moment when we see them die the quick death that is needed for a free and equal society?
This is a time for celebration and relishing in newfound equality. However, it must be said that it is somewhat tragic that a referendum was needed to achieve it.