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Irish Referendum on Gay Marriage

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Today, Friday 22nd May, Eire voted in a referendum on the issue of gay marriage. The counting will not start until Saturday morning, but the indications are that there has been a very high turnout, more than in recent referendum on changes to the EU treaties. It will be interesting to see what what the result is.

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The pre-polls showed an almost 2-to-1 majority in favour, but we learnt from Proposition 8 that pre-polling on this subject can be misleading. People will say one thing in response to the poll because they don't want to be accused of bigotry, but vote differently in private.

I'm hopeful for a majority, but I will be pleasantly surprised if it's close to a 66% (2-to-1 in favour).

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It seems the referendum has passed. One minister was quoted as saying the voter turnout was unprecedented and may have passed the referendum two to one in favor. Final tally will not be available until later today.

This puts Ireland ahead of the U.S. In the gay marriage debate it seems the Catholic Church in Ireland remained fairly silent this time around. Not so here in the U.S. where major religious leaders oppose gay marriage and have done their utmost to influence government regulation. The fact that marriage is a civil right and not a religious one did nothing to prevent religious interference in the politics of gay marriage.

I hope this Irish vote does some good in persuading the vast majority of Americans that gay marriage is a legal and civil right. Nothing will change the minds of the haters on the religious right.

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Irishman, Oscar Wilde, may now rest in peace, for no more does all the world mock or put people in the pillory for uttering "The love that dare not speak its name."

Indeed, today the people of the homeland of Oscar Wilde, have voted to recognise that such lovers may now marry each other. Today their love no longer whispers its name but shouts it from the altar of their love, in marriage to each other and celebrated by the Irish people.

May the rest of the world soon join them in their wisdom of acknowledging equality.

Oscar would surely have approved.

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In Australia our polls show around 70% of the people favour marriage equality, but some of our politicians from both sides are still thinking it is 1885.

Of course we do have full de facto equality with our heterosexual siblings, including many protections of anti-discrimination laws and policies. It's not everything but better than nothing.

The Irish vote in conjunction with the new UK laws for equality should help us, but there is still a number of politicians who are against progress. My own local state politician is one of them and he is left-wing.

Tony Abbott, the Australian Prime Minister is totally oblivious to the marriage equality issue. Watch him here:

Is it any wonder that he is regarded as the Village Idiot?

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Congratulations to Ireland! I woke up this morning to the news that the yes vote won with 62% of the vote. That makes them the first nation in the world to legalise same-sex marriage through a national vote.

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Here's a hilarious speech by a Member of the NZ Parliament on a Gay Marriage bill two years ago.

Here's an extract from this HuffPost Gay Voices article:

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Hundreds of jubilant gay-rights advocates celebrated at New Zealand's Parliament as the country became the 13th in the world and the first in the Asia-Pacific region to legalize same-sex marriage.

Lawmakers voted 77 to 44 in favor of the gay-marriage bill on its third and final reading Wednesday night. People watching from the public gallery and some lawmakers immediately broke into song after the result was announced, singing the New Zealand love song "Pokarekare Ana" in the indigenous Maori language.

Colin :icon_geek:

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Thanks, Colin! Now that's one politician that I think I could like :) By the way, the Nationals (the party of the member making the speech) are the conservative party in New Zealand, so that also goes to show (as does the Irish referendum) that conservatives are not automatically anti-gay.

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It seems that the outcome of the other question on the Irish referendum, to reduce the age of candidacy for the President of Ireland from 35 to 21, has not met with the same degree of publicity as the same-sex marriage question.

Perhaps somewhat remarkable is the fact the two questions attracted opposite votes. This shows that at least the two questions were given intelligent consideration by the voters.

As to why there have been few reports on the presidential candidates age question, we could perhaps surmise that everyone is too busy planning their weddings.
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