May 22nd offers an opportunity for many of us in Ireland to strike a blow against homophobia in voting for Marriage equality.
Those on the No side are the usual suspects who opposed contraception, divorce, sex education and abortion access. They want a return to the Ireland of the 1930s when the Mother & Child Homes & the Magdelene Laundries expose the shallowness of their ‘will no one think of the children’ appeals for this referendum.
They are taking that approach because their real agenda would horrify the vast majority of people and they know it. Instead we see cunning irrelevancies from surrogacy to adoption being raised, presumably because these were identified as doubt causers that might sway undecided voters in focus groups months ago. It’s an entirely cynical exercise that no one should be fooled by.
On the other side it is quite ridiculous to see Labour Party & Fine Gael posters using slogans like ‘Equality for All’ when these parties have made Ireland an even more unequal place. The richest 1% own 15% of wealth while the poorest 20% owe more than they own. The Yes vote will rightly bring Equality for some in the particular area of marriage but the Fight for Equality is not something either of these parties are involved in, quite the opposite.
The vote on May 22nd will send an important message about the sort of Ireland we want to live in. As such it's important not just that the referendum passes but that it is passed overwhelmingly in order to drive the bigots back into the dark corners.
On May 23rd the fight for equality will continue
WORDS: Andrew Flood (Follow Andrew on Twitter )