The marriage referendum, an opinion piece


I intentionally steer away from politics on this site. But it occurs to me that the issue of marriage equality is not a political issue. It’s a human rights issue.

I have friends, family and clients who have been canvassing and have been horrified and hurt by the judgement that they are meeting on Irish doorsteps. As a nation this lack of compassion for each other and for ourselves is at the root of much of our misery. We would do well to work towards change.

This referendum is a chance to do just that.

Example – I am part of a minority group. I was born left handed. Roughly 10-15% of the population is left handed, a similar figure to the proportion of my fellow citizens who are gay. To me, the fact that we are all voting on whether gay people are “allowed” to marry is as ludicrous as holding a referendum on whether I, as a left hander am entitled to marry the person I love. I know there are people who mightn’t like my handwriting, but what does that have to do with my right to be treated equally? Am I forcing anyone to write with their left hand? No. Am I harming anyone by using my left hand? No.

The ‘debate’ has been hounded and usurped by red herrings such as mention of children and family. These are not relevant. They are red herrings designed to distract from the issue at hand – equality for all citizens.

Let’s not be manipulated. Let’s stay on topic.

I am firmly of the opinion that no-one has a right to determine another’s right to love. For me, this is not a gay issue – this is a we issue. Don’t we all strive for equality? We all need to belong. We all need to feel loved and to feel free. Ad we all deserve (equally) to meet those needs.

If you are considering voting no, please just ask yourself this, would you vote ‘no’ to left handed people marrying? Does the very notion seems ludicrous to you? That is exactly how ludicrous it seems to me. This referendum is an opportunity for us to lead, to show that we are a caring society that can step proudly into this century and cherish ourselves and our children by being inclusive, by being human, and by voting yes.


While I’m here – here’s a pic a friend of mine made – ain’t it cute?


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