July 15 - Let the music play!
Thank goodness for yes.
Such a small word, causing so many big emotions on Saturday 23 May when people in the Republic of Ireland voted in favour of same-sex marriage.
I admit I was more than a little bit scared of the outcome. I almost couldn’t believe it when initial reports suggested the results would be positive, but didn’t dare get too excited in case it might ‘jinx’ things somehow.
Personally, I don’t believe an issue of equal rights should have been handed over to a referendum. I was terrified it could set an awful precedent – and it may still do so in countries where gay people have such a long way to go on the road to equality that every human being deserves. This is a victory, and a historic one at that, but public opinion isn’t so tolerant elsewhere. You don’t even have to go that far – there are no plans to bring a similar law to allow us to marry in Northern Ireland.
Do I want every other country in the world to follow in the footsteps of the Republic of Ireland? Hell yes! I’ve said before that I don’t feel marriage is for me, personally, but it’s my right to be able to do so. I recently attended the wedding of my best friend Barry, to his partner Robin, and I can honestly say it was one of the best days of my life. The fact that they’re so happy gives me a joy I never thought I’d experience in my lifetime. And no one should be denied that.
Positive outcomes aside, rights aren’t supposed to be voted on, they’re supposed to be ours anyway.