Will the same-sex marriage ruin everyone’s life and put Ireland into chaos?

No. No it won’t. Your life will be pretty much be the same as it was before, except that you will be able to marry whoever you love, without worrying about what is between his or her legs. And that’s great.

A referendum to chose between equality and inequality.

Ireland will hold a referendum on May 22nd. Voters will decide if the Constitution should be modified in order to grant access to civil marriage for same-sex couples.

Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”

This small modification to Article 41 is very important as same-sex couples will finally have access to the same protection that the Constitution gives to families composed of heterosexual couples. Everyone should be able to marry the person he or she loves. It is all about equality. 

https://twitter.com/Mrs_OC/status/587889244284289024

Encouraging, but yet tricky polls.

Ipsos MRBI did a survey for The Irish Times, in order to figure out the voters’ intentions. Even if the results seem very encouraging – estimating 74% of the voters will choose YES whereas only 26% will choose NO – the survey only included voters who were sure about their decision. In other words, undecided voters were left aside. Nothing is done yet: organisations still have to fight for equality. 

The way to same-sex marriage is never simple.

 In Europe, only twelve countries have voted for same-sex marriage. (Click on the map to see the date when it came or will come into effect.)

 

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In France, for instance, the question of same-sex marriage resulted in several demonstrations from both sides of the cause. But frankly, nothing changed for the lives of the ‘Pro No’ campaign, because the law does not force you to marry someone from the same-sex. It just enables you to do so. People are just afraid of change, unreasonably afraid of change.

The case of France.

Same-sex marriage was one of François Hollande’s promises during his presidential campaign in 2012. A law was then presented to the members of the government on November 7th, 2012. On May 17th, 2013, the law was voted and finally applied the next day. The first same-sex marriage took place on May 29th, making Vincent Autin and Bruno Boileau France’s first same-sex married couple.

I was in Paris when all the talks and demonstrations were going on about same-sex marriage. Demonstrations were made by both sides, and organised as if they were answering to each other’s. When the pros did one, you could be sure that the contras would organise a demonstration a week or two later, and vice-versa.

 

Marriage Pour Tous, Photo by Pierre-Selim on Flickr

Marriage Pour Tous, Photo by Pierre-Selim on Flickr

I remember being in the pro same-sex marriage demonstration. It was a very colourful crowd, people were waving rainbow flags, dancing, singing and holding funny signs to express their point of view. The crowd was composed of various types of people, young and old, male and female, homosexual and heterosexual, from all ethnicities and religions. Those people were supporting and fighting for equality.

The only thing  I remember about the other side is seeing families in the subway, with their flags saying “La Manif’ Pour Tous” ; which can be translated as “The demonstration for all”. Their colour code was blue and pink. I guess that blue was supposed to represent the idea of masculinity and that the pink was supposed to represent that of femininity. Sweet clichés.

 

One of their arguments was that a family had to be composed of a mother and father, and that legalising same-sex marriage and adoption might cause great damage to kids. Those kinds of arguments were used by a man who decided to put children in front of the riot police so that they would not push them, during one of the demonstration.

Those kinds of incidents shocked me, but I was even more shocked that those people were basically protesting against more rights for the community. In my opinion, protests should be used if individuals need their rights to be considered – not in order to prevent part of the population from finally having access to equal rights.

Defné Cetin

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