On Friday 22nd Ireland goes to the polls for a referendum to introduce Marriage equality, when it is passed Ireland will be the first country to introduce Marriage equality by popular vote. In the final days of campaigning the reactionary anti-equality crowd are becoming increasingly open about their homophobia as they become increasingly desperate in the face of defeat.
This had created an unpleasant and threatening atmosphere for LBGTQ people on the streets of our cities but also in their homes as vile hate literature comes through the letter box. A lot of people are in pain right now, waiting for the referendum to be over.
We shouldn't be surprised, for too many decades after independence a reactionary clerical inspired agenda had a tight hold over people in Ireland. Those who didn't fit with that agenda with forced into exile in the 20s and 30s or in the case of working class women very often de facto imprisoned in Mother & Child homes or Madeline Laundries. It's been a long hard fight since the 1960s to erode the power the reactionaries once had and they are bitter to see it seep away.
One aspect of the referendum is the tens of thousands of mostly young people unable to vote because the economic greed of the elite has forced them to emigrate in recent years. And a mirror to that is the tens of thousands of migrants in Ireland who will be effected by the outcome of the vote but are unable to vote.
In some of the centres of migration people from Ireland have come together to stage photoshoots calling on people back home to Vote Yes for them. The one pictured took place earlier this evening in Berlin.
It's important not just that the Equality referendum pass but that the Yes vote is massive enough to send the reactionaries scuttling back under the rocks from which they have emerged.
WORDS: Andrew Flood (Follow Andrew on Twitter )