Ireland and the Same-sex Marriage Referendum

A few days ago, my home country (Ireland, although it’s not my mother country – I was born in England but grew up in Ireland and am an Irish citizen) had a referendum to approve or disapprove an amendment to the Irish Constitution, which would guarantee the right of anyone in Ireland to marry anyone else without regard to that person’s sex.

To put this into context, you need to consider that up until 1993, homosexual behaviour of any kind was illegal in Ireland. The referendum on same-sex marriage was construed from the outset as a referendum to guarantee equal rights to everyone in Ireland, and was taken as such by the Yes camp — which I sympathise with — and the No camp, which resented the fact that its own bigotry was in danger of being rendered unconstitutional.

The Yes side had the support of every major party, as well as the business community and all but a few mostly stupid and/or rabid journalists. The Yes sympathisers campaigned with enormous fervour; the No camp knew that they were on a losing streak, and just bitched about liberal elites hijacking the nation. Even after the result, they are still bitching.

I’m no longer resident in Ireland, so I didn’t get to vote, but I followed the campaign, and I’m delighted to be able to record that the Yes camp won, with a 62% vote. Only one county in the entire country returned a No vote. This makes my country the first ever country to legalise same-sex marriage by popular vote.

In honour of one of the very few times in my life that my own country has made me proud to belong to it, here’s some classic LGBTQ rock in the form of Bob Mould’s band Sugar. Stay beautiful.

Ireland and the Same-sex Marriage Referendum