Monday 19 February 2018

We did ourselves proud in the referendum

By Deborah Coleman

Deborah Coleman.
Deborah Coleman.
Counting underway in the referendum last Saturday.

It was nice to have the eyes of the world on Ireland for a positive reason this week.

As the Marriage Equality referendum was passed with an overwhelming majority it feel good that we, as a nation did the right thing.

Never before has any referendum created such stir and it truly engaged people of all ages and walks of life whether gay or straight.

It was heartwarming to see the wider population move with such solidarity to extend equality to a those who had been denied it for so long.

In some ways it is unbelievable how much we have grown as a nation so quickly given the fact it is only three short decades since homosexuality was decriminalised.

The resounding though not surprising result will be remembered as a victory for equality and for those couples who will now be able to get married and enjoy the constitutional protection that comes with that, it is a truly special and significant change.

Looking back on the referendum campaign it was a thrilling rollercoaster of debate and argument but it was only ever going to go one way and this was reflected in the polls.

People felt that it was about time that we stopped this ridiculous differentiation between gay and straight couples, because, at the end of the day it really is just about the individual couple and whether marriage is the right choice for them.

There was a lot of confusion about why gay couples needed marriage to apply to them when they already had the option of civil partnership but it was about equality and having the same rights as straight couples.

Surely nobody could be confused about that?

Of course little old Ireland caught the attention of the folks in the Westboro Baptist Church in the US who upon learning that the referendum was passed promptly declared that 'God hates Ireland' on a green, white and gold.

You see they can't stand gay people for simply being gay and they can't stand straight people for respecting gay people and they actually take pride in their views.

I don't know what kind of god they worship but I suppose we can only shrug off such a response and pity those responsible and leave them to their bigotry and intolerance.

Wexford People

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