The New Dealer

  • February 7February 2019 Edition

Ireland knows democracy, it also knows equality.

Kevin Lam, Reporter

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On May 23 2015, Ireland and the entire world went through a historic watershed – a same-sex marriage law was passed by popular vote. An amazing 62% of Irish voters said yes towards same-sex marriage in this referendum, making Ireland not the first country to legalize free marriage, but the first to legalize it by purely the public’s opinion. Pro same sex marriage citizens went to streets, praised, and hailed with joy the moment the decision was released. Gay and lesbian couples also began proposing in their homes, some are even planning to marry as soon as the application of the law begins.

The “landslide” received generally very positive feedback. Most media from the world used extremely positive adjectives to describe the revolution.  Famous author J.K. Rowling posted on twitter saying, “Sitting here watching the Irish make history. Extraordinary and wonderful,” gay married actor John Barrowman tweeted, “Congratulations to Ireland for legalizing same-sex marriage on a national level! Come on U.S., let’s catch up to the future.” Influx of congratulations and admiration on the referendum flooded the social media except one place – the Catholic Church.

Another significance of this popular vote is that it happened in Ireland, but nowhere else. Ireland is a deeply Catholic nation with 90% of its people being Catholic. It is also considered to be “obstinately” conservative. Being the last European country to decriminalize divorce, same-sex marriage has pounded the Irish Catholic Church. Archbishop Martin spoke to the public after the decision was released – “Boys and girls, I made my confirmation sixty years ago. Your world is different from mine.” Using relatively neutral words (most possibly not wanting to incite discontentment or discomfort), Martin attempted to imply the church’s traditional beliefs. However, he did recognize the popular voting, humbly.

“The church needs to take a reality check,” said Martin. He answered journalists tersely, saying the gap, in terms of culture and the nation’s development, between Irish people and the church is “obviously” widening. The Irish path to legalizing same-sex marriage is remarkable, because advocates have long seen in other nations, courts and legislative powers controlling the life-changing decision, but Ireland did it by “themselves.” The public, especially the older generations, began contemplating the true definition of marriage, love, gay and lesbians – Do any of them bite? What is the nature of determining righteousness? What is “normal” and “abnormal”?

If I am an American male adult in New York, it is legal to marry a guy here in my state. However, if my partner is from North Dakota or Georgia, and either of us wants to get married at his hometown – oops, nope! Most states in America have legalized same-sex marriage. Some states like Texas, Louisiana, and Nebraska are facing pro-marriage court rulings and are pending further actions. Missouri is the only state that is undergoing court ruling, yet still respects marriages legally performed in other states. North Dakota and Georgia are the only states that literally exclude same-sex marriage, tumbling the states into controversy and debates.

It is, lame or repetitious for the writer to further explain the pros and cons, or the reasons to put a green or red light on same-sex marriage. However, some misconceptions or more specifically – excuses to go against same-sex marriage have to be clarified, for the betterment of intelligence and civilization.

1) Gay/lesbian people spread AIDS therefore same-sex marriage should be banned – According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1,201,100 people are living with the HIV infection and both homosexual and heterosexual individuals are able to be contracted by the HIV virus. Should sexual orientation be a definitive factor (the fall guy) for the spread of AIDS ? If such allegation is done through race, white and black Americans are “it,” because they topped the chart on HIV infection on the CDC estimation.

2) God does not allow same-sex marriage therefore it should be banned – If United States of America is still a land of freedom and justice where freedom of religion is practiced, we should all learn more about different religions and beliefs – or just waste our time criminalizing it?

3) Same-sex marriage adds burden to federal finance – Long-term, deep-rooted social problems such as racism has cost America  two trillion dollars, according to Donnell Alexander in “Racism Literally Costs America $2 Trillion…Ready to Stop Payment?” If such a claim is the only reason to oppose same-sex marriage, should it be interpreted into “Certain marriages should be banned and restricted because the government has no ability to assist, respect and honor some marriages.”

4) It is immoral. The slave owners said the similar and same thing before the Civil War as well. It is up to one’s discretion.

5) It defies natural law where a male and female reproduces to ensure our (human) sustainability – Infertile women should therefore be “banned,” because they are “unnatural” because of such reasons. Is reproduction the only reason to form a relationship or marriage? Same-sex marriage is a recognition and protection, not promoting homosexuality. The possibility of promoting declaration of sexual orientation, however is promoted.

6) It is disgusting – “Too bad, so are heterosexual couples!”  Logical reciprocal concept. Reluctance to accept and understand creates more problem. Let’s be real, there is “interactive-racism” because USA is not (yet) perfect.

It is anticipated that same-sex marriage will be further legalized in America and in other countries throughout the world. Whether or not it is “legal” or “illegal” is very debatable, as laws and cultures differ from place to place.  History also plays a role in decision-making.

Are you happy with your life? Imagine if you were the minority.

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Ireland knows democracy, it also knows equality.