Tomorrow, May 22nd, Ireland are having a referendum to change Article 41 of the constitution, by adding a new subsection 4 which states that: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex”.
This is an opportunity for Ireland to make history and become to first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage through national referendum.
As with anything, there’s plenty of debates for and against, each pushing their own opinions and arguments for months in the lead up to tomorrow. But we couldn’t help but notice the ‘No’ side clutching at straws, excuses and irrelevant reasoning. So let’s confront their endless scare-mongering by looking at why a Yes vote is essential in this country.
This referendum deals with marriage, and marriage only. So, any issues with same-sex couples as parents should be taken up with the bill passed in April of this year. Been and gone, and will not be changed regardless of this referendum result. What we are being asked in our individual polling stations tomorrow is – do you, or do you not agree that everyone in this country should be treated equally under the eyes of the constitution? Do you, or do you not agree that same-sex couples have the right to commit to each other in the same way and under the same protection that their heterosexual friends and family are entitled to? It really is that simple.
Of course, in attempt to draw a few extra No votes, the question has been warped into an issue relating to children and their right to equality. Because apparently the only way to give the children of our country equality is by giving them a mother and a father. Not by granting them the right to marry whoever they may wish in the future or anything. How about we use this referendum and our vote to tell the children of this country right now that being gay is not “unusual” or “weird”, but of equal value and worth. How about we stop asking our sons when they come home from their first day in school “are there any girls you like in your class?” and start changing it to “anyone”, and our daughters vice versa.
As the future generations of Ireland grow up to fully accept their LGBT friends and family, we have less and less to worry about with regards to bullying over same-sex parents. Children will be brought into same-sex parent families regardless of this referendum, so why don’t we use our vote to say YES, allow those couples to marry, and treat them as equals in society, so that those children are not only protected under the constition, but have no reason to see anything but normality and equality in every family at the school gate.
No voters go on about the “ideal family” of a mother and father. Well, here’s news; every family is unique and different in so many different ways. There are fathers who for whatever reason, escape the responsibility of fatherhood, there are families with drug and alcohol issues, there are violent families, and so many unfortunate situations that children are placed in within the “ideal family”. So, correct me if I’m wrong, but two father figures or two mother figures with the ability to care for a child, and love a child unconditionally seems a lot more “ideal” if you want to make this about children.
It’s very easy for the undecided percentage of our population to fall for the “inequality for children” lies. We have under 24 hours to get the message out that this referendum is about MARRIAGE. It is about the right of two people, regardless of sexual orientation, to fully commit to each other in civil marriage. Nothing more, nothing less.
Nobody is asking to impose a change on religious marriage. All anyone wants and deserves is the equal opportunity for civil marriage. There are 160 differences between civil partnerships and marriage. Why should anyone in this country be treated as a second class citizen based on the sexual orientation they were born with? The No side in this can disguise their discrimination under as many excuses as irrelevantly possible, but quite frankly, try looking a gay friend, brother, sister or neighbour in the eye, whether this referendum passes or not, knowing that you were personally happy to deny that person their right to marry. The LGBT members of our society are currently depending on thousands of people they’ve never met to decide their future. In what mentality is it fair and acceptable to outright tell them “No. There’s a limit to my acceptance of you, and that limit is here.”?
The Yes side may have the narrow lead in polls, with plenty of political and celebrity backing, but polls guarantee nothing. Your vote matters.
Tomorrow is a massive day for Ireland. Let’s make sure our renowned friendly, inclusive and accepting nature is reflected in our legal system, while the eyes of the world are well and truly on us. VOTE YES.
We reached out to people all over the country of Ireland before tomorrow’s big day to see why exactly they’ll be marking the YES box on the ballot paper…
“Marriage is about love. #MarRef is about marriage. It really is that simple. The No side have spread so much misinformation. They want the right to discriminate. We should allow no such right. Equality of people, equality of marriage. Let’s tell the world how open and inclusive Ireland is. Vote Yes.” – Eric Nolan, East Cork Labour Director of Marriage Equality Referendum.
“Tomorrow we are not defining the traditional religious marriage, but civil marriage. Civil marriage is not an “ancient holy institution” as the No side is presenting. It was created only 179 years ago, under the Marriage Act 1836 and it is absolutely ok to redefine this legal invention as we please. Vote Yes.” – Pádraig Langsch, 23, County Clare.
“People who actively campaign for gay people to be treated less are, in my gay opinion, homophobic.” – Panti Bliss
“At this day and age why the hell should we have any say in how people want to live their life!? Anyone who votes no should be ashamed.” – David Doyle, 24, Dublin.
“19 years ago, I met this young Irish boy. He told me “I’m gay. I ‘ll never be accepted or have a normal life in Ireland”. YES you will, Ireland. Make history on May 22nd.” – Carole Leger
“I am voting YES on Friday 22nd in the Marriage Referendum for one of many reasons. First of these reasons, is because since a very young age, I identified as bisexual. I always liked boys, but in school I found myself having feelings towards girls. I realised that it wasn’t peoples gender that I identified with, it was their heart and soul, little personality traits that they had that stirred a reaction in me, their attitudes and character. I have had relationships with both, and I would appreciate my right to decide to marry either, when and if the time is right.
Considering the fact that the LGBTQ community are already allowed to adopt children, I think a Yes vote would better protect these children. It will strengthen the family unit. It will eradicate this nonsense of an “ideal family”. Which already doesn’t exist! It will create a ‘new normal’ which in turn will eradicate discrimination of LGBTQ couple and parents for this and our future generations. By voting Yes on Friday, we are telling everyone that we love and accept LGBTQ. That is what NEEDS to happen.
I believe that people deserve the right to be happy, and nobody else should stand in the way of that.” – Kasey Daye, 27, Dublin.
Fortitude Magazine fully supports a YES VOTE on May 22nd.
Check out Riyadh’s inspirational video regarding the referendum: