Friday, May 22, 2015

My thoughts are with Ireland today...

The Irish are voting in a historic referendum today on marriage equality.   I'm mostly Irish by blood, although not by citizenship.   And, as you can guess, I'm hoping that it turns out well for those who favour equality.

At first, I was surprised that such a vote on minority rights would be put to popular vote.  But, as this article makes clear, legalizing equal marriage in the constitution requires a constitutional amendment voted on by the public in order to avoid future legal challenges.  

Still, one has to worry what the formerly staunch conservative voters of Ireland will do today.  The country only decriminalized homosexuality in 1993.  The country seems to have become more liberal since.  Polls showed the pro-equality side far ahead right up until today.  

In the U.S., where similar referenda have taken place in the last 15 to 20 years, the experience was mostly negative until 2012, when voters started approving equality and shutting down attempts to ban gay marriage.   The tide has turned in that country. 

In Canada, the pro-equal marriage side won out 10 years ago, with courts and legislatures voting in favour.  Polls now show 65% of Canadians support equal marriage. 

Voting in Ireland continues today until 10 pm Irish time, or 5 pm Toronto time.  (Although results won't be fully counted until Saturday, apparently.)  So hopefully we'll get good news to celebrate tomorrow. 

In the mean time, glad to share this Canadian video supporting the equal marriage cause:

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