I don’t often get political on the blog, usually because I’m too self centred talking about me and my life, but I’m compelled to talk about the gay marriage referendum in Ireland. I was shocked to read that ex pats aren’t allowed to vote unless they’re in the country. Bearing in mind that the majority of people who have left Ireland are likely to be younger and therefore open to the idea of gay marriage and equality, and older people still in the Emerald Isle are perhaps more traditional (a sweeping generalisation I know, and of course there will be exceptions), this smacks of the powers that be trying to influence the result.
All hail then the people who are travelling #home to vote, which is trending on Twitter. People who realise the importance of being part of history, of exercising their individual power, and of not being controlled by the politician’s who are trying to dissuade them from getting involved. Not just those who want to vote yes (although, as is obvious, that’s what I believe the result should be). But, even for those who are voting no, it’s wrong to try and silence the voters’ voice by changing the rules and insisting on physical geographical voting. It is giving the message that you’re not really Irish unless you’re in the country, and that your voice shouldn’t be heard if you’ve dared to leave the homeland.
The vote is ground breaking as it’s the first time the issue of gay marriage has been voted publicly. Whatever the result, there will be outcry from the “losing” side. Ultimately some people are going to be upset. I suppose its the most democratic way of deciding (certainly better than politicians making the rules) but, ultimately, why should it be down to a vote at all? Why should it even be up for debate?
The truth is that all adults should have the same human rights. If two people are in love and want to express that love by committing to each other – publicly, privately, whatever – then who are other people to judge? What gives anyone the right to exert power over another group and decide what they can and can’t do when it comes to loving someone? We’re not talking taboo like incest or bestiality. We’re talking consenting adults who want to spend their lives together.
Most people are horrified and appalled by the thought of apartheid and black people being segregated and treated as second class citizens as they once were. Preventing gay marriage is such a similar thing. It’s treating people differently because of who they are; something they can’t even control. Black people don’t choose to be black. Gay people don’t choose to be gay.
Love is love, and love is beautiful.
And, to prove it, here are some photos from Gay Pride in Los Angeles 5 years ago – such a fun day full of laughter, good energy, and acceptance.