Irish equal marriage vote

While the political establishment in Ireland is determined to downplay the need for an Irish unity referendum, it is plainly obvious that the appetite for such a poll is growing by the day.

After an eleven-year fight, the Australian government has recently come under intensified pressure to let LGBTI couples marry.

The success of marriage equality in Ireland and then the United States has made Australia more isolated. It seems clear that the marriage equality campaign is going to win. Nevertheless, the government is still trying to stall marriage equality.

Many blame the Liberal Party. It is true that Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s desperate measures to suppress the conscience vote show just how homophobic the party is. But the Labor Party should not be let off the hook.

Marriage Equality has come to Ireland through a popular referendum. The result was hailed by the May 23 New York Times as placing Ireland “at the vanguard of social change”.

This will be surprising to many, considering Ireland is a country in which transgender status is not recognised by the state, abortion is illegal, gay couples are denied access to surrogacy, unmarried couples cannot adopt, and homosexuality was decriminalised as recently as 1994.

Celebrations and street parties broke out across Ireland after the success of the May 22 referendum to legalise same-sex marriages.

“Same-sex couples could be married in Ireland by the end of the year after a referendum described as a 'social revolution' solidly backed equal rights,” the Morning Star said on May 25.


Celebrating referendum victory in Dublin. Photo: An Phoblacht.

As most of Ireland celebrates marriage equality – passed overwhelmingly in a May 22 referendum - the six counties in its north carved off and still claimed by Britain remain excluded.

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