In a week of Big Gestures, ‘Yes’ Vote trumps all

In a week of Big Gestures, the southern Irish electorate seem to have saved the best and biggest of gestures for last. According to every early indication from the tallymen and women, the Yes campaign is going to emerge victorious in the Marriage Referendum by day’s end, meaning that the Republic will become the first state internationally to legalise gay marriage through a popular vote.

The significance of that should not be underestimated.

Ireland’s international reputation as a predominantly conservative and Catholic society has long been established. This referendum result confounds long-held perceptions both at home and abroad, which were in any case outdated. The message delivered by an overwhelmingly Catholic electorate not only emphasises how comfortable modern Ireland is with the separation of Church and State, but also how determined the citizens in urban and rural Ireland are to embrace and build an inclusive society promoted and propagated not simply by an unrepresentative liberal elite but by the ordinary, plain people of Ireland.

Of all the stories emerging from the Marriage Referendum campaign, this one, carried by The New York Times to an American audience, stands out for me.

An elderly Dundalk couple, sitting in a sofa in their living room, recording a video appeal for the Irish people to vote Yes.

Their pitch is a simple yet powerful one, redefining the Family Values narrative so often deployed by conservatives to resist equality campaigns on moral issues in Ireland, Britain, the USA and beyond.

This is a good day to be Irish. Enjoy it.

 

  • npbinni

    Strange ‘family values’ when the mothers and fathers cannot procreate without medical intervention.

  • George

    Family values involves loving and supporting your children too, who just might happen to be gay and want the same rights as everyone else, including the right to enter into the contract of marriage. Cherish all your children equally.

    The most heartening things about this result are the figure of 70% plus in a place like Ballymun, which is one of the poorest areas of Dublin, and the fact that it will be carried across the board, even in rural areas.

  • chrisjones2

    Like many childless male /female couples? But Lesbians can manage with a bit of help from a friend and some basic kitchen equipment

    Now look outside.Its a lovely day.The sky in de Nurth is blue.The roof hasnt caved in. We haven t been sent a plague of boils or locusts as a mark of Gods displeasure.

    So rejoice in that and be happy for those who will soon be free and equal to do what the rest of us have enjoyed rather than being sour and twisted.Its a time – we hope – for joy for not bitterness for them and for Ireland

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Many people who have kids don’t deserve then. Those of us who can’t have kids yearn for them and would cherish them. Your sexuality plays absolutely no part.

  • chrisjones2

    Dear Heavens

    As a Unionist,Ireland is starting to look like a pluralist country that Prods might be happy in – or that those of us who aren’t religious loons – .might be happy in.

    Whatever next !

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    I’d have thought that willingness to take the extra steps involved (with no guarantee of success) would show a greater level of commitment to being a parent. Do unplanned and unwanted pregnancies produce good families?

    Medical intervention, adoption, surrogacy and many other methods of starting families have been available for a very long time. Why are you only finding that “strange” now?

  • Glenn Clare

    Seems like the vote in the south is going the way of the gay marriage lobby. As for the equality thing why should the gay lobby be happy with just civil partnership, I say let them be miserable like the majority of us married hetrosexual couples.

  • Glenn Clare

    With the warm welcome that the Queen and now prince Charles got not only in the south but from what one can only assume would be republicans at St Patrick’s chapel in Donegall St. Maybe the next referendum in the south will be for it to rejoin the Commonwealth in the not to distant future???

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    It’s been that (and not just looking like it) for some time now. Here’s one example: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/28/AR2007062801278.html
    Perhaps we shouldn’t project our own inflexibility and fearful clinginess to standstill on other regions of the world.
    Ireland has shown itself to be a society where the framework if you like is flexible enough to accommodate much difference. The Savita Halappanavar case shows that there is still some ground to cover.

  • Zig70

    Is it a lack of knowledge that ignores the harm that Britain did in Ireland? Did you miss the conciliatory tone of the royal visits? Ireland will never ever join the commonwealth.

  • sk

    Stormont Rule is Rome Rule

  • Jag

    I’m confused, which ones are the Papists again?

  • Peter L

    So,we can assume that “Catholic Ireland” is another Sodom and Gomorrah.?

  • Jag

    There is however a strand of thinking in Britain at present that with Scotland’s inevitable independence and uncertainty over Northern Ireland, that it might be wise to copper-fasten some relationship between Britain and Ireland.

    When Charles used the term “Atlantic Isles” this week (as opposed to British Isles) he appeared to me to be envisioning some new arrangement (and Iceland isn’t going to be invited to join).

    “Commonwealth” would still be unacceptable to the majority of Irish, but the Brits are eyeing some other grouping to safeguard against the future marginalisation of England.

  • Robin Keogh

    I am soproud to be Iirsh today. I cannot believe the level of support for the YES side, it truly ia amazing and a testement to the progressive kind generousity of the Irish people. It might just be the final wav ein a social revolution that has been sweeping the country over the last twenty years. Ireland again, leading the way in fairness, equality and justice. Happy days!

  • Jag

    Yep, and along with those degenrerates in England, Wales and Scotland, is warmly embracing the concept of marriage for all.

    Northern Ireland is now the last redoubt in these “Atlantic Isles” for Christian practices, a bastion defended by Jim Wells, Edwin Poots, Nelson McCausland and Susie White, with Jamie Bryson waving a flag (upside down) and Iris Robinson making the tea.

  • Nevin

    I can’t speak from experience but I view marriage as about complementarity, not equality – difference, not sameness:

    a relationship or situation in which two or more different things improve or emphasize each other’s qualities.

    “a culture based on the complementarity of men and women”

  • Peter L

    For me,there is only one opinion that counts and it is God’s.I’ll take Christ’s version of marriage over everyone else’s,thank you.

  • Old Mortality

    ‘Ireland’s international reputation as a predominantly conservative and Catholic society has long been established.’
    Whose fault was that, Chris? The RC church strove to impose its values everywhere but in western Europe only the Irish proved to be so reliably supine – contraception illegal until 1980 for goodness sake.

  • Old Mortality

    ‘Family’ lawyers in Dublin must be in ecstasy.

  • submariner

    Why how would it benefit Ireland to rejoin?

  • submariner

    I too am proud of my fellow countrymen in the south overwhelmingly voting for equal marriage a proud day to be Irish indeed.

  • mac tire

    Ireland wouldn’t benefit and won’t join. Glenn just likes his wee dig at themuns in every article.
    On topic, I’m glad the YES campaign prevailed.

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Test your faith in a God – drive with your eyes closed.

  • hugh mccloy

    Equal divorce referendum coming up next, but wait that will mean equality for fathers in terms for their children, nah that will never happen there is far too much money to be made in the courts to do that

  • hugh mccloy

    Prediction – same sex couple will get residential care rights to children, before biological fathers get the same and to be treated as equally as biological mothers post separation / divorce

  • npbinni

    Gays cannot naturally have a family. ‘Gay family’ is an oxymoron.

  • kalista63

    How odd that someone from GB can move to the south and have their marriage recognised ( and visa versa, of course) but not here because of, for the most part, so called unionists.

    Online, Ireland is being congratulated from all over Britain and the world. It shows that people abroad watch such matters, including when the opposite happens.

  • npbinni

    It never happens in gay marriage, and, admittedly, many times does not happen in heterosexual relationships, but the ideal scenario and basic human right of every child is to have a father and a mother. It is the most natural thing for humanity.

  • npbinni

    again?

  • kalista63

    Why? What did Christ say about the gays marrying?

  • Makhno

    Great day, great result, and in the interests of cross border trade can I recommend a wonderful bakery in Belfast?

  • Glenn Clare

    It can’t hinder the south to join. Wouldn’t it be another progressive sign for the south.

  • Jag

    So true, if gays were meant to fly, God would have given them wings. A gay in an airplane flying through the sky? Jesus would be spinning in His grave (if He’d stayed put, that is).

  • Jag

    Why would a sovereign country like Ireland subject itself to an organisation whose leader is repugnant to a proper republic? (BTW, nice lady, Queen Elizabeth and the English are lucky to have her, but she’s a complete anachronism in our Republic). Yes, we’d have the questionable privilege of taking part in the Commonwealth Games, but there’s no real advantage; we’re already firm members of the EU and UN, that’s more than enough.

  • Jag

    “the ideal scenario and basic human right of every child is to have a father and a mother”

    An even more ideal scenario and even more basic human right of every child is to have a happy and nurturing family, and there’s absolutely no reason why Adam and Steve can’t provide that (Adam and Eve are still squabbling about the apple and who-got-whom thrown out of Eden, theirs is a toxic environment in which to raise children)

  • submariner

    Sorry Glenn I just cant see any compelling reason for Ireland to rejoin the commonwealth short of a united Ireland

  • ulidian

    I believe they’ve changed their product range.

  • Makhno

    Ah, no! Have they dropped the witch cakes at Hallowe’en and all?

  • cu chulainn

    The Savita Halappanavar case shows the incompetence of the health service, nothing more profound than that and of course there has been a referendum since then.

  • chrisjones2

    The DUP are more Roman Catholic than the curia these days – apart from the transubstantiation thingy

  • chrisjones2

    No …..thats still ok but now they will only ice certain designs.

    Expect a flood of order for Congratulations Cakes tomorrow (well Monday, they don’t bake on their Lords Day)

  • chrisjones2

    Non gays cannot naturally drive. Or naturally grow a hip to replace a worn out one without surgical intervention. So what.

  • chrisjones2

    or man and man or woman and woman or we could even have a transgendered person in there too

  • chrisjones2

    Prediction …..you and others will; come out with the usual twattery

    Now that WILL become true

  • chrisjones2

    Which God?

  • chrisjones2

    Not much I am afraid. That’s why the clergy had to make it up to divert attention from the numbers of gay men in their ranks

  • chrisjones2

    Fine…then dont

  • kalista63

    Thank fek for that. Thought I’d a dodgy bible, for a while.

  • kalista63

    Have you seen the divorce rate?

  • Celtlaw

    Yes, but…… doesn’t a Yes vote place another obstacle in the path of reunification? Or, are those who would find it an obstacle already in the group of persistent objectors to reunification?

  • Glenn Clare

    The Irish republic with its changing moral thinking and it’s recent referendums on various issues is becoming as British as Finchley. Time to rejoin the commonwealth.
    If the UK move out of the EU it might be the best option.

  • John Collins

    No we would not consider it progressive. When you have grown up and left the family home you just never return.

  • hugh mccloy

    Shame to see that you dont care that the human right to family life and to be treated equally does not apply to children. When everyone who knows this area knows the barrier to reform is divorce law. Educate yourself you twat

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    LUNDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • chrisjones2

    The abiding principle is what is best for the child …not for you or any other parent

  • chrisjones2

    All bibles are dodgy Its in their nature

  • mac tire

    Erm, forgive me for being ignorant, but doesn’t ‘proper’ biblical study (since that is a live issue) forbid the celebration of birthdays?
    I guess those birthday icings may well go the way of Halloween and Gay stance icings with this bakery?
    And as a lapsed Catholic – wasn’t the old message something along the lines of a man may say, you have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works?
    Am I, a lapsed Christian, actually more Christian than those who claim to be so?

  • Chingford Man

    Meanwhile, Ashers had a profitable Saturday.

    https://www.facebook.com/events/1487872751502618/

  • hugh mccloy

    yeah it would be great if the law was written like that but its not and neither are the principles of “what is best for the child” even lightly laid out. Rep ire just copied the uk system and even bluffed that up to the public in a referendum to feed the mutli million pound divorce and separation industry. Maybe the welfare of the child should be of paramount consideration ? or is that what is best for the child nicely worded, we are talking about rights yet the established right to family life and to be treated equally is routinely broken every day in Ireland north and south and ??? no one says a thing., but childrens rights offends to many politically correct parties and people who would not want to be seen giving children social rights to their fathers for fear of upsetting a vote. In terms of rights one of the most highly discriminated groups in society today as it stands post the referendum are separated biological dads having contact with their child

  • Makhno

    And don’t start me on them pork sausage rolls.

  • USA

    LOL….

  • USA

    Interesting….

  • Mister_Joe

    I am heterosexual and married. I totally fail to understand why some people similar to myself think that allowing homosexual people to be married somehow diminishes their marriages. It simply doesn’t. It’s just a recognition that a couple devoting themselves to support each other in times of both pleasure and hardship is a positive thing for society, and something that should be applauded rather than condemned.

  • Carl Mark

    Great day to be Irish! as I said on another thread , if I owned a flag I would be waving it !

  • Carl Mark

    Hey, win win for everybody then!
    good day all round.

  • No1celt

    Never, Never, Never

  • murdockp

    Do the DUP support the consumption of shellfish, mussels, crabs and lobsters ?

    I see levictus says the consumption of shell fish is an abomination right up there with homosexuality.

    Our is their religion pic n mix?

  • james

    That’s a bit silly. According to the teachings of the Christian faith, one does not flippantly test God. Would you, by the way, make a similarly rude and offensive comment about Islam, or does the chihuahua-like petulance this comment displays only apply to Christianity, a religion you feel safe insulting?

  • james

    Yes, and hopefully you also grow out of the sulky teenager stage and stop sniping at the parents who helped get you where you are in the world.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    Sodom and begorrah

  • erasmus

    Glenn,
    By your strange logic Scandinavia is also ‘as British as Finchley’. I have been broadly supportive of the liberal agenda; it’s news to me that I was supporting a unionist agenda.

  • Sergiogiorgio

    James – hopefully your faith has more depth than your reading skills. Where do see me being rude or offensive to Christianity or Islam? I was being rude and offensive to your deluded brother in arms, Peter.
    Read, repeat, respond, you silly fellow.

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Only if they are good Protestant shellfish, mussels, crabs and lobsters. You can’t be too careful with dem Catholic shellfish….

  • George

    Very noble James, but sadly we weren’t in a home with parents who helped us get to where we are in the world, we were in the national equivalent of the Magdalene Laundries. Not sulky teenagers, abused ones but hey you can banish your demons if you have the strength (and they haven’t destroyed you totally).

  • Zeno

    “a testament to the progressive kind generosity of the Irish people.”

    I was disappointed. Nearly three quarters of a million people voted NO.

  • Zeno

    Whatever happened to celebrating difference instead of trying to be the same as something you are not?