Just across the way from here, on Friday, Ireland is holding a referendum on same-sex marriage.
Why a referendum, when it should be a matter for government? Due to the way in which Ireland’s constitution works, it is necessary to hold a referendum to get the consent of Ireland’s people prior to altering said constitution. Previous referenda have been held in Ireland to permit divorce, and to consent to the Lisbon Treaty regarding Ireland’s membership of the European Union. Famously, Ireland’s voters rejected the Treaty of Lisbon at the first time of asking, thereby stalling reform right across Europe. Not that I thought that was a bad thing. As a eurosceptic, I don’t want ‘closer union’ in a continent wide sense. Let’s be friendly, certainly, but one currency, the euro, doesn’t strike me as a fabulous idea, and I rather like each country having its own currency and unique laws as opposed to a one-size-fits-all approach.
Of course, the European Union went back and asked Ireland a second time, and got the Treaty of Lisbon passed at the second time of asking, since when -surprise surprise!- there hasn’t been a third referendum to ask the Irish if they still think it’s a good idea, if they still agree to it or disagree to it. And this, in part, is why I don’t like the EU, steamrollering across sovereign states until, like a child in a tantrum, get their way.
Indeed, from a European perspective, I favour what’s called the Brexit, the British exit from the EU, with the UK promised a referendum on the matter during the course of our current parliament. Possibly, in advance of that, there could be a Grexit, the Greek exit. I sincerely hope they do, the Greek economy having been destroyed by EU membership, and if they do pull out, it could have a domino effect.
Incidentally, before I go on, The European Court of Justice case 274/99 ruled it was illegal to criticize the, corrupt, criminal, fascist EU. 😉 So you know where to find me, boys, if you want to pursue me for hate crimes against your corrupt, unaccountable institution.
Let’s get back to Ireland.
Friday’s referendum now pits the Catholic Church, still an institution of great power and influence in Catholic, conservative Ireland, who argue that equal rights for same-sex couples should be rejected, against the country’s government, with all of Ireland’s major political parties saying that it’s a civil matter.
This blog has always taken a fairly soft-feminist line, urging society to adopt a more equal view in every respect. Although our tone has often been from a female perspective, we would extend that to all forms of inequality. Same sex couples should be afforded the same rights as the historical view of a couple being a male and a female.
We’re against a gender pay gap. We’re against a gender-based ‘glass ceiling’ in respect of jobs open to women. We believe that #blacklivesmatter. We believe in same-sex couples being allowed to marry. Hopefully, when the votes are counted, Ireland will follow Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Uruguay in permitting people who are in love to get married.
From the beginning, The Sims and Second Life have permitted same-sex relationships, and I would imagine there are very few of us who don’t have some SL friends, either male or female, who are partnered in a same-sex relationship. Nintendo’s Tomodachi Life game to run into a lot of trouble when it barred same-sex couples from forming a relationship within their virtual world.
Love is love.
It seems as though virtual worlds, the Nintendo experience notwithstanding, are able to separate away from what can still be a church influenced RL society with great ease. It seems that we, as players, are much more open to being ahead of the curve in how society thinks now as opposed to how a small number of men, influencing their flocks, think from a 2000 year old perspective.
Let’s hope that Ireland chooses to vote for equal rights on Friday.