To be a same sex couple: Ireland is going to have a referendum on same sex marriage

Cagda Erzincan

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Same Sex Marriage - Photo credit Carlos Melia (Flickr)
Same Sex Marriage – Photo credit Carlos Melia (Flickr)

Ireland is preparing for a same sex marriage referendum at the end of May on a date yet to be decided. It is causing some discussion between society and the Catholic bishops. 

Religions have restricted sexual issues for ages. In previous centuries, women had been blamed as a source of corruption. There are still honor killings in some countries in the world. However, people have begun to live their believes and emotions more easily in the 21st century. We have been couples with opposite genders since Adam and Eve or maybe not. Who knows? The straight sexual relationship contains a man and a woman often because of having children. However, some of us born with other preferences. They love their same sex. Who can judge them?

History

The same sex marriage issue has been discussed since ancient times. The Roman Empire prohibited same sex marriage in Rome with a law in the Theodosian Code. However, the first Roman emperor was married with a man.

In the 20th century, Denmark was the first state which has given permission for same sex civil partnership in 1989. However, Netherlands has been the first country which has accepted legally same sex marriage in 2001. Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina followed. Currently, 14 countries in the world allow same sex marriage. Some individual states  in USA, Mexico and Brazil allow gay marriage.

The Vatican under Pope St. John Paul II launched a global campaign against gay marriage in June 2003.

The discussions continue still especially in the religious platforms. Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, some Protestant churches, a majority of Muslims, Hindu Nationalists and Orthodox Jews oppose same sex marriage officially.

Gay Pride

 

Gay Pride - Photo Credit Gisli Jon (Flickr)
Gay Pride – Photo Credit Gisli Jon (Flickr)

LGBT community (Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) begun in the mid- to-late 1980s. Their symbol is a rainbow flag. They organise gay pride marches all over the World. This is a resistance to discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Many straight people join in and support these pride marches every year. Ireland hosted the last gay pride march on Saturday the 28th of June 2014. Thousands people joined this event.

Ireland’s Catholic bishops

 

Cathedra - Photo Credit  PhotoMoe Photography (Flickr)
Cathedra – Photo Credit PhotoMoe Photography (Flickr)

According to RTÉ news, Ireland’s Catholic bishops said the church does not oppose the right of couples to enter same sex relationships if that is enshrined in law, but it opposes giving them the right to marry. Bishop of Clgher Liam MacDaid said this underlines the need for sensitivity in discussing the Government’s proposal which affects the lives of men and women.

According to Irish Times, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin Denis Nulty has warned against the “danger of groupthink” on the upcoming same sex arriage referendum.

Society

Marriagequality - Photo Credit  Alison McDonnell (Flickr)
Marriagequality – Photo Credit Alison McDonnell (Flickr)

“Our research shows that support is really, really soft and it will start to unravel quite quickly,” says a source from one of the political parties supporting the referendum.

Microsoft and Twitter support same sex marriage law change in Ireland.

There are still 3 months to the referendum. It is likely that the process will be turbulent.

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Cagda Erzincan