The reason that gay people will be allowed to marry in Ireland is that a majority of Irish citizens think gay people should be allowed to marry in Ireland.
This is not at all to cast asparagus on the legitimacy of gay marriage in those places on Earth where it has become legal by means other than a referendum. It is instead to stress the elementary point that this referendum was fair and open by all modern democratic standards and that the Irish electorate is as educated and sophisticated as any other polity you might care to name. Most Irish people in 2015 simply don't have a problem with gay marriage.
Whatever happened to Ireland? Its people used to be relied upon to reject social change – in previous referenda they have said no to liberalised divorce and abortion. But now, in the year of our Lord 2015, early returns indicate that the land of St. Patrick has said Yes to gay marriage. And it’s the first country in the entire world to do so by popular vote.
Yes. Those who run better political campaigns do indeed tend to win them. But again:
The Yes vote prevailed by 62 to 38 per cent with a large 60.5 per cent turnout.
That is about as decisive as it gets in a democracy. Chalking such a result up to about two thirds of Irish men and women being cowed by scare tactics is unpersuasive, and frankly obnoxious. I have been disgusted by the outcomes of previous Irish votes on divorce and abortion, but I never kidded myself that most Irish people secretly would have voted like I wanted except for some conspiracy.
But now we get to the fundamentally wrong point about the Irish vote that seems to be bubbling up a lot that is so deeply wrong:
It used to be that Irishness was defined by affection for the Catholic Church and resistance to European liberal trends. So stubborn was this identity that the country took longer than the rest of Western Europe to embrace secularism. But the paedophile revelations of the 1990s rightly rocked faith in the Church as an institution, while a series of recent scandals shook faith in its actual theology.
This is glib, and explains nothing. "England once had an empire, and then it didn't. The ramifications were enormous." Sure! But so what? Never mind that the tension between nationalism and Catholicism was always very raw, or that the Irish state always had a far more contentious relationship with the Vatican than is typically acknowledged.
To emphasise, the Yes vote was undoubtedly a reflection of growing tolerance towards gays and lesbians. But it was also a politically trendy, media backed, well financed howl of rage against Catholicism. How the Church survives this turn, is not clear. It'll require a lot of hard work and prayers.
No, it wasn't "trendy."
The Irish Catholic Church's monopoly over all forms of legitimate cultural expression in Ireland was always a historical anomaly, and was never as complete as it seemed.
The Yes vote was nothing more, nothing less, than the victory of Irish writers, artists, thinkers, workers, believers, citizens, and just plain folks working from the 1920s forward for a more humane and beautiful nation.
One of the only things all the major Irish political parties agreed on from the first days of the Saorstat to the Fianna Fail triumph in 1932, was that Ireland needed a strong censorship regime: certain things could not, by law, be said, lest the Indomitable Irishry face domination.
You shouldn't allowed to print anything about "race suicide." That is, contraception.
And you also could not publish anything to do with homosexuality.
To help this sink in: in the 1920s -30s the major political parties had as their major point of convergence a mutual desire to shoot each other dead. But they agreed that no Irish person should ever say anything about how maybe homosexuality was no big deal.
Hatred of homosexuality has been baked into dominant ideas of "authentic" Irishness for generations. This vote is seismic.
(Yes, I am using the term "political parties" extremely loosely. Fuck off.)
I've never had much patience with the argument that you shouldn't ever call people with Sincere Religious Objections to gay marriage "bigots." "Bigot" is in fact the correct term for people who would deny other people equality before the law based on their personal prejudices.
The simple fact of the matter is that if you really believe in democracy, you believe in a democracy of morality. How do you achieve the end of slavery, the vote for women, gay marriage in New York? Well, you win. You fight to achieve the right to impose the dominant definition of what is right and what is wrong, in the culture and through the law.
The main reason I hate religious arguments against gay marriage, to be honest, is my personal disgust at the intricate cruelty of religious people towards certain of my friends and family -- and the reckless collateral damage homophobia has inflicted generally. It's a vicious madness going back generations.
If your "religious freedom" makes you a bigot, well, fuck you, and you will pay a price -- you will lose your power to say "I am religious, so I have the power to determine legitimate from illegitimate fuck-standards."
And if you thought Hobby Slobby was ever about "religious freedom," well, you probably weren't reading this blog for fun in the first place...
The Government has pledged that legislation providing for adoption by gay couples will be enacted before the referendum on same-sex marriage in May.
The pledge came in the wake of concern in both Coalition parties that the first television debate on the issue on Monday night had raised doubts about potential pitfalls in the campaign.
At their weekly Cabinet meeting, Ministers agreed to hold another special meeting today to finalise the wording of the Bill providing for the referendum on same-sex marriage.
As a student of 20th century Irish history and culture, I am thoroughly astounded. If I'd had to bet back in, say, 1990, which would come first, the 6 counties joining the Republic or the Republic legalizing gay marriage, I would not have put money on gay marriage.
Shows what I know!
I'll be following this issue; curious to see what Mr. Pope will or won't say about it.
It all started in September, when Houston Mayor Annise Parker and City Attorney David Feldman issued an "overly broad" subpoena for the sermons of select ministers who opposed the city's equal rights ordinance. Because of intense national opposition from even Texas' attorney general, this past Wednesday, Parker and Feldman appeared to recant or at least reduce their flagrant overreach and disregard of the ministers' legal protections under the First Amendment.
By the weekend, however, the truth came out that they were only using political smoke and mirrors to try to simmer the patriotic fury; they were not changing course to constitutional compliance.
This is a great sentence.
It is very difficult to apply mirrors or smoke to the simmering process, in practice, I should imagine. Smoke may of course be employed in regards to barbecue, but I don't quite grasp how it might simmer anything, absent a Rube-Goldbergian apparatus. Likewise with mirrors. This is not even to broach the question of why the presumed malefactors in this scenario would even want to maintain furiously patriotic simmering. Maybe this is all to do with arcane Texas cuisine lingo to which I am not privy. Or else perhaps Chuck Norris is dumb. Who knows.
I'm a Texan, and it chaps my hide when some kibosh of the U.S. Constitution originates in the Lone Star State.
You're a Texan, and your mangled understanding of "kibosh" makes me extremely reluctant to inquire as to what you might mean by "chaps my hide."
What this all actually means is that authoritarian religious assholes want to (1) directly engage in electoral politics, and (2) not pay taxes.
It's not a mystery why your more savvy right-wing operatives would want to fling this bullshit. It's also obvious why Chuck Norris would also gleefully wallow in these poop-pools:
Acting like the biggest asshole in the country made him famous. You have to respect that.
And let's remember that his genius lay in the decision to picket military funerals. That's what put him over the top. Schmucky homophobes, you can find them anywhere. But going after dead soldiers -- brilliant.
That was a man who intimately understood the theatre of trollery. Fred Phelps, the Bard of Bigotry.
As an LGBT person of faith who believes in liberty and individualism, I can say that the tale that Democrats hold the key to happiness for LGBT people is hogwash; liberals want LGBT people to wave the rainbow flag but only if they tone down the red band of color that stands atop the flag.
Oddly, many of the LGBT folks I know are, like, also liberals. We're kind of a coalition of folks with shared values? It's weird to think that the reason, well, say, gays, blacks, Jews, Latinos, tend to vote Democratic is because of some sort of Protocols of the Elders of Clinton type of shit. Everyone's smart enough to vote their own self-interests, which is, like, kind of the point of democracy...
LGBT Republicans of faith have a unique opportunity to expose the fanciful fallacy that tethers too many people to the left – that LGBT people must be Democrats and that people of faith cannot be proudly LGBT – and offer the Republican Party a chance to undermine the Democratic narrative and to connect two constituencies that will lead to GOP wins throughout the country.
Approximately nobody Over Here believes that gay people can't have religion. Dowhatchalike.
Why though are you supporting a party that says you're not allowed to marry someone you love? And is full of all kinds of unreconstructed bigots who hate you?
Similarly, LGBT Republicans need to expose the inaccuracy of the liberal claim that the LGBT community is “overwhelmingly” Democrat. According to a Gallup poll conducted in 2012, one in four LGBT people consider themselves to be conservative or very conservative, and a deeper look into these numbers reveals that the demographic breakdown of LGBT voter preferences is similar to that of the overall population.
One in four people in an overall population self-identifying as imbeciles is actually not all that bad. You could probably get that percentage for "I'd stab out my eye with a fork because Jesus."
But... why? Why on earth would you be proud to belong to a party that explicitly would deny you the freedom to have recognized as valid your union with the person you love?
By living openly and honestly, LGBT Republicans – especially LGBT Republicans of faith – have a powerful chance to counter the left’s messaging and provide the Republican Party with an important opportunity to better position itself as the Party of individualism and inclusion, with a message that will lead to electoral victory.
I mean, run on that in the South.
Or in, say, New York.
I encourage this strategy not at all because I enjoy the comedy of obviously disatrous political messaging. It's the merits.