My conscience is clear and i've made my decision, whenever we are given the opportunity in referendum to vote on gay marriage i will not hesitate to put an X in the Yes box. By doing so i will feel as though i've pledged my unreserved support ,as will many, for the love two individuals have for each other by tying the knot for a very important commitment, and i do not believe i should deny them. That's what it all boils down to in my opinion, condoning love between two people whether they be hetrosexual or homosexual and wishing them, hopefully, a happy future together. Equals in the eyes of the state. Certainly my party, Fianna Fail, has done more than any other as regards pushing for various forms of gay rights legislation and the vast majority of our members are certainly proud of that achievement, as are the majority of Irish citizens. Now it's up to the present government to go one step further, and though it may pain some, i'll give them credit if they agree to a referendum during the lifetime of this government. Yet certainly and in the meantime Ireland has come quite far since David Norris's campaign in 1988 which led to the decriminalization of homosexual activity finally in 1993, all the way to the granting civil partnerships to gay couples in 2010, opposed by only four Senators. So we've been progressive in the gay rights arena and going in the right direction. I've always felt strongly that whatever one gets up to in the privacy of his/her own bedroom is of no business of the state, and in my eyes certainly no business of individuals who are 'troubled' by their (homosexual in particular) activity. Once it's not harming anyone and once it's consensual then whatever they do or for that matter whatever anyone else does with their own bodies is of absolutely no interest to me whatsover, and shouldn't be for you.
Giving gay couples the ability to a enter a civil marriage quite simply does not bother me at all, and i have not been convinced of why it should. That in itself is a reason that i shall vote yes. But the most pertinent question in my mind that i've asked myself was and which might have proved the biggest obstacle was, 'would allowing people of the same sex, marry, in your eyes damage the institution?'. I have to say i've answered that with a resounding no,in fact i believe allowing for a gay couples to enter a civil marriage in my mind could compliment it, ensuring that they are committed to one another for life, and surely that's a good thing for society. Yes granted that allowing for gay marriage in the eyes of the state would result in a 'redefinition of marriage' quite obviously, and that's been used by those opposing it as a bad thing, but i don't believe it necessarily is a such. Haven't we redefined things before, the world isn't going to come to end if we do, those in a traditional marriage won't be threatened by it, where's the threat? People who already oppose gay marriage no matter if it is passed in referendum or not are not going to suddenly change what they believe marriage to be. To them marriage will always be between a man and a woman and nobody is going to force them to think otherwise, and they're perfectly entitled to believe that if that's based on the tenets of their faith, or otherwise. What they are not entitled to is to force their views upon those who do not share their biblical view, or otherwise. This is not a theocracy. The first country to allow for gay marriage was Holland in 2001, (since then over a dozen countries have recognized it), and twelve years on there has been no threat to force Churches to recognize these unions and there's no sign of that happening there or anwhere else (U.K an exception but i believe something agreed to by both sides of this debate can be arranged).I believe overall the tactic used by opponents to scare some people into believing that allowing gay marriage would inevitably lead to them having to recognise gay marriage is a rouse.The Church or any other Christian denomination or other faith, quite simply is not going to recognise gay marriage regardless and no matter what comes down the line. This is as i see it is quite simply about offering gay couples the option to enter a civil marriage which has nothing to do with any Church. However proponents of gay marriage must not rest easy. Polls might indicate that 70%+ of the Irish public might support gay marriage but a lot of that support is soft. What they must not do is to be complacent or talk about this battle as a being as good as won, or indeed to paint all those who oppose gay marriage as angry bigots or homophobes. Not only will that hurt the cause but it's a simply lazy catergorization intent to end debate, there are genuine good people on both sides of this debate and that must not be forgotten. What must be done is to continue to debate this issue with civility and calm, if that happens i've no doubt we'll get the right result on polling day, and as straight man i'll proudly back this particular cause. So give me the ballot paper!