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Thread: Ireland - Upcoming Same Sex Marriage Referendum

  1. #1

    Default Ireland - Upcoming Same Sex Marriage Referendum

    Just thought I would draw attention to this in the mature topics forum, as it may of interest to some members. Ireland currently does not offer same sex marriage. Legally, only civil partnerships are recognised. It is my understanding that the first civil partnership did not take place in Ireland until 2011.

    Ireland will hold a referendum on 22nd May to decide if it is time to legalise same sex marriage, and if it is time to offer this right of marriage to same sex couples. I personally will be voting yes. While I am a straight man, I am of the belief that Ireland is well beyond an era when gay marriage should be condemned in the manner in which it was in the past. A significant number of people I have spoken to share this view, and based on my understanding from the media and from speaking to others, this referendum will see same sex marriage being passed into law.

    I get the impression from when I was looking through the site as a non-member, and now as a member, that there a fair few gay/lesbian people on the site who may be interested in the debate which is taking place in Ireland at the moment. (And indeed I'm sure straight people like myself may want to take a look at this too). The debate is certainly heating up, and both sides are now currently putting forward their arguments. At this stage, the Minister for Health and Children, Leo Varadkar has come out and asked both sides to keep it civil, as various allegations are now being made of removing the other sides posters from streets around the country.

    This article in the Irish Times reflects my views on the no side's arguments and their campaign posters, and I consider it a very well written and constructive article: http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/no...tive-1.2186624

    Also of interest is today's debate in the Irish Times which gives the opinions of both sides from the perspective of adult children raised by gay couples: http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/ha...ndum-1.2186482

    If there are other Irish people out there in particular who would like to give an opinion or offer views from their understanding, it would be interesting to read these.

    Hope the above is of interest anyway!

  2. #2

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    I bet the Catholic Church doesn't like it at all

  3. #3

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    The main objection I have to legalizing gay marriage at this point is that I have seen very little discussion on reasons the government should continue to sanction marriage at all. Being old fashioned I hate to see laws based on nothing more than emotional mudslinging.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    The main objection I have to legalizing gay marriage at this point is that I have seen very little discussion on reasons the government should continue to sanction marriage at all. Being old fashioned I hate to see laws based on nothing more than emotional mudslinging.
    There are legal rights that married spouses have like automatically being the default next of kin, medical proxy and beneficiary of pensions. It would get messy if they just stopped recognizing it all together.

    Kinda surprised to see this coming to a vote. It has only been 20 years since they legalized divorce.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    The main objection I have to legalizing gay marriage at this point is that I have seen very little discussion on reasons the government should continue to sanction marriage at all.
    Marriage is:

    (1) A standard legal contract that would take 5 figures of lawyer's fees to write, but which you can purchase for the cash you have in the wallet at city hall right now.

    (2) A legal contract that has been extensively tested and interpreted by the courts such that it is backed by a huge amount of case law. A lawyer can't write a complex contract for any price that will stand up as well in court.

    (3) A legal contract that other jurisdictions, including other countries, will recognize, consider relevant for immigration purposes, and grant most of the same rights.

    (4) A contract that society accepts culturally as a signal so that you don't have to present a stack of legal paperwork every time you want to exercise one of the many rights that marriage includes.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fruitkitty View Post
    Marriage is:

    (1) A standard legal contract that would take 5 figures of lawyer's fees to write, but which you can purchase for the cash you have in the wallet at city hall right now.

    (2) A legal contract that has been extensively tested and interpreted by the courts such that it is backed by a huge amount of case law. A lawyer can't write a complex contract for any price that will stand up as well in court.

    (3) A legal contract that other jurisdictions, including other countries, will recognize, consider relevant for immigration purposes, and grant most of the same rights.

    (4) A contract that society accepts culturally as a signal so that you don't have to present a stack of legal paperwork every time you want to exercise one of the many rights that marriage includes.
    This is exactly what I was thinking. You did a great job of explaining it and why we need it. In my opinion, the same legal safeguards need to be provided to same sex couples for those very same reasons.

  7. #7

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    So the main reason the government should continue to back marriage has more to do with the cost benefit of maintaining traditional marriage laws rather than any specific benefit the country would receive for allowing couples to become married?

  8. #8

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    From a Canadian perspective, we legalized same sex marriages more than eleven years ago and the sky hasn't caved in. Marriage is more than the commitment of two people to each other. It is a shared value in countries around the world that marriage is a cultural institution. It is also an institution in need of shaking up. Divorce rates are at an all time high, infidelity is frequent, and deadbeat fathers continue to get away with not paying child support. In my office, where we assist people with housing problems, we see shelters overflowing with women and children leaving abusive partners and domestic violence. In spite of this, there continues to be those who view marriage as a sacred institution between a man and a women, and they would deny the same right to the LGBT population because it doesn't fit their' traditional' view of marriage. You would think that with all the hatred and fighting going on in the world today that they would welcome with open arms people who want nothing more than to be part of this institution, in spite of its flaws. Honestly, and speaking as a gay person, could we really do any worse?

    In the past decade, it has been my pleasure to know and meet a number of gay and lesbian couples in loving, long term commitments, and, yes, many of them are raising their own children, either through in vitro, surrogacy, or through custody of children that came out of previous heterosexual marriages. The argument that marriage should remain a heterosexual institution for procreation is a red herring. There are a lot of Catholic couples practicing birth control, as well as couples who are unable to conceive because of physical or health reasons. Should their marriages be regarded as less valid, as well?

    The number of countries that have legalized gay marriage just keeps growing. There are nineteen countries that have legalized same sex marriages. There are two where they are legal in some jurisdictions (Mexico and the US.)

    http://www.pewforum.org/2013/12/19/g...ld-2013/#allow

    These changes have been, in large part, due to the tireless efforts of the LGBT community, by challenging discrimination through the courts, in the churches, and on the streets. We celebrated with our neighbours to the south when the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down. State by state, court by court, and country by country, gays and lesbians are securing some long overdue rights. You can delay but you can't turn back the tide.
    Last edited by Starrunner; 26-Apr-2015 at 15:40.

  9. #9

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    Except of course that two people of the same sex are not equipped to consummate a marriage, so aside from the religious angle, gay marriage is still a biological oxymoron.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxx View Post
    Except of course that two people of the same sex are not equipped to consummate a marriage, so aside from the religious angle, gay marriage is still a biological oxymoron.
    Marriage is a public commitment to living together in an intimate relationship of mutual support. Sexual intimacy is an aspect of the intimacy that is normally part of marriage. But that intimacy need not center on any particular act.

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