A Gay Weekend in Ireland

There were two events held over the weekend involving the Gay Population in Ireland. One was a great success, the other a waste of time.

Lets start with the success, Northwest pride held an event in a town called Easkey. The village in Co. Sligo has a population of 250 and it went gay for the day with local people and businesses taking part in the event. Reading the coverage in the Guardian though really brought it home for me about how much rural Ireland has changed, and changed for the better.

What really sent that home was the quotes from a few of the locals such as this one from Michael Gordon who manages the village shop

“Gay people are the same as every body else.” He has lived in Easkey all his life, helped rebuild two churches in the area and knows everyone in the town. “Ireland is a tolerant place now, thank God,” he said. “Rural Ireland has grown up.”

Or this one from a local mother Linda O’Dowd

“I have no idea if any of my kids are gay, but I would totally support them,” she said. “I don’t see anything wrong with it whatsoever.

Fair play to Easkey, but they do prove their point.

Now the second event, the LGBT Noise march in Dublin which saw 5,000 people marching for Gay Marriage. Why bother? I mean we have a civil partnership bill that will be passed, shouldn’t we be focusing on that making sure that it is the best possible, rather then focusing on this pie in the sky aim, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon?

We have to be realists, we have to get on with it. Why scrifice what we can have now, for what we might get in ten years when there is polical will for it? We can still get it in future, but why sacrifice what we have in front of us?

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Marriage is an antiquated, failing institution based on inequality and traditional roles.

Protesters in San Francisco campaign for marri...
Image via Wikipedia

The above title is a quote from Mark Simpsons article on Gay Marriage on Comment is Free in today’s Guardian. In his article “Gay people don’t need marriage” he argues that gay marriage “zealots” have gotten carried away and need to look at what the majority agree with. As he points out Civil Unions which giver nearly the same rights as marriage, for example Civil Partnerships in the UK, have the backing of “liberal and conservative, secular and religious, metropolitan and rural America”.

He calls it “side-stepping this endless, unsightly domestic”. And he is right. LGBT Noise can protest all day long and give the Government red cards, but whats the point if marriage is not the answer, and it certainly isnt. They are wasting their breath and causing unnecessary division within the Gay Community and those that are broadly supportive of the gay community. Its time we brought them onside and campaigned for something achievable

Its nice when you find someone who agrees with you

(Hat Tip: The Irish Left Review)

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LGBT Noise – A Change of Message?

From Suzy’s Blog:

Next week sees another protest from LGBT Noise giving the Government the red card and calling for Civil Marriage. The turn out at the last rally was dissappointing and I’ve noticed a slight shift in the plugs to get those who don’t want to marry themselves to support the cause. Wonder would it ever work the other way?

Now last Wednesday I met one of the LGBT Noise activists in a pub, and when I mentioned my opposition to the whole gay marriage thing there nearly was an argument (we decided not too as it was a pub). But again, people seam to react to my opposition gat marriage rasies heckles and for some reason people can’t seem to respect my views on it.

They keep going on about rights and things like that and I point out that the state choses to recognise some relationships, but they dont have to call marriage. I am perfectly happy with Civil Unions/Civil Partnerships/Blueberrysherbets/What ever you want to call them.

While reading the comments on Suzy post I found myself agreeing with someone I normally dont, and that was Ian McGahon, in his comment he said

1; The political will to bring in marriage for gay and lesbian couples is not there in Ireland – out of 166 TDs I would guess that 50 would support it (total guess – no basis for guess)

2; I feel that there are couples who need rights – economic, social, political and these rights could be legislated for tomorrow but we don’t seem to consider these people – groups like LGBT Noise disregard many people; those who do not want to marry, those who badly need any form of legal recognition tomorrow

I fully agree with these points. Its not going to happen anytime soon and while we keep blathering on about Gay Civil Marriage these people are losing out.

We need Civil Unions now, not Gay Marriage next year.

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