Primarily because it’s the right thing to do…
It really bothers me that in today’s world there are still people who believe that people who are different should be denied the same rights.
It’s not “gay rights” or “women’s rights” or whatever… it’s simply human rights. We are all on this planet together, regardless of race, religion, beliefs, sex or orientation.
It doesn’t matter to me if you like people with the same bits as you, if you like people who are polar opposites, if you prefer blondes, brunettes or redheads… So long as consenting adults aren’t hurting anyone and what you’re doing makes you and your partner(s) happy, then go for it.
The notion that “gay marriage” somehow diminishes “my marriage” is ludicrous. How on earth can two people who love each other; who make each other happy and who want to spend the rest of their lives together in any way impact on your love for your partner and desire to make them happy (and be happy in return)?
I am very happily married with two wonderful children. If a gay couple moves in next door that doesn’t make me view my wife any differently, it doesn’t make me love my children any less. It certainly doesn’t make me think that what I have worked to build with my family is any less special or important in my life.
So please, stop using the inverted commas for gay “marriage” in an attempt to denigrate what is – at its core – a union between two people who love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together. The people who argue that the meaning of the word will change seem to forget that his has changed dramatically and regularly over the course of human history to include things like divorce, interracial marriages and women’s rights as well as removing things like child marriages, dowries and betrothals… How is this any different from any other time the word has adapted to fit the modern world it finds itself in?
Another one that bugs me is the family card – that gays can’t raise a family. Biologically perhaps they can’t conceive without outside help but there are thousands of straight couples who find themselves in the same boat – does that mean that their “marriages” should be disallowed and they are not allowed to spend the rest of their lives with their loving partners? Many people choose not to have kids even if they physically can and many kids around the world are crying out for loving, supportive families to take them in.
So I’m voting yes because while I’m proud of the fact Ireland has a chance to make a statement as a country that we support equal rights, it’s also a little embarrassing and depressing that people need to ask for these rights…