I’m a straight, married man, but the same sex marriage referendum in Ireland moved me to tears. Now I’m thinking about applying for Irish citizenship…
It’s ten days since Ireland voted to legalize marriage between two men or two women, updating the constitution to read “marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two people without distinction as to their sex.”
You could be forgiven for asking why something like that would interest me all that much. Sure, I’m pretty liberal as political viewpoints go, but I’m also a straight, married man, so you could argue that it has very little impact on my life.
In practical terms, it doesn’t, though in abstract kind of way being an equal institution makes my own marriage feel stronger. On a more philosophical level, I’m blown away.
My view of Ireland as a place has changed dramatically. I see hope beyond the conservative parties that dominate Irish government, beyond the still-substantial influence of an invariably counter-progressive church, and beyond the ‘backwards Ireland’ label that’s never well sat with my own experience here.
Now I feel hope.
I’m a straight, married man & I’m not sure I’ve ever felt this emotionally invested in politics. Such a simple, important principle #VoteYes
— James Hendicott (@jameshendicott) May 22, 2015
Fears, tears and a weekend of hope.
It was hard not to feel really involved in the marriage referendum. It’s coverage in the weeks running up to the event was all pervasive, and while the polls kept saying there were ‘undecided voters’ and around a third voting no (which was certainly expected to be much more come polling day), how anyone could fail to feel moved by the pleas of the gay population is beyond me.