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Ireland’s ‘tolerant’ elite now demonise anyone who opposes gay marriage

19 May 2015

11:05 AM

19 May 2015

11:05 AM

If you think it’s tough being a Tory voter in 21st-century Britain, try being a ‘No’ voter in this week’s Irish referendum on gay marriage. Sure, Twitterati sneering at all things right-wing might have turned some Conservatives into Shy Tories, hiding their political leanings from pollsters. But in Ireland, to be a naysayer in relation to gay marriage is basically to make yourself a moral leper, unfit for polite society, ripe for exclusion from respectable circles. Irish opponents of gay marriage aren’t only encouraged to feel shy — they’re encouraged to feel shame.

On Friday, the Irish electorate will be asked to vote on the redefinition of marriage as a relationship involving ‘two persons without distinction as to their sex’. Heaven help anyone who says No to this flinging open of marriage to same-sex couples. For the extent to which Ireland’s political and media elites have lined up behind gay marriage ahead of the referendum is nothing short of breathtaking. I’ve racked my brains, and I can’t think of any other political issue in Europe in recent times on which the consensus has been so suffocating, and so hostile to dissent.

There’s a profound irony here: Ireland’s political class calls for a Yes vote to prove that Ireland has moved on from its intolerant religious past, and yet some of that old intolerance is being rehabilitated by the very people backing gay marriage. They shush dissent and demonise their opponents as effectively as any priest used to do, only in the name of Gays rather than God. Backing gay marriage has become, in Irish Independent columnist, Eilis O’Hanlon’s words, a way for influential people to ‘identify [themselves] as members of an enlightened elite’, ‘kindly metropolitan liberals versus nasty Catholic conservatives’. This referendum is now only ostensibly about gay marriage: more fundamentally it has become a means for a new, PC, post-traditionalist elite to distinguish itself from the allegedly hateful and gruff inhabitants of Ireland’s more rural, old-fashioned communities.

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The president, Michael D Higgins, and the prime minister, Enda Kenny, back gay marriage. So does virtually every politician. Indeed, the main parties are enforcing the party whip on gay marriage, meaning any Senator or TD who votes against it is likely to be expelled from his or her party. According to the Irish Independent, even politicians who harbour ‘reservations about this major legislative change’ are not speaking out, ‘for fear of disobeying the party whip’. A professor of theology has written about a culture of ‘intimidation’ in political circles, saying it’s ‘incredible that the political parties have imposed the whip’ on this issue. Only one politician — one — has resigned his party’s whip over gay marriage.

So intense is the whipped political consensus that politicians, desperate to demonstrate their gay-marriage correctness, are openly flouting some of the Irish parliament’s longstanding rules. Wearing political badges is forbidden in Ireland’s parliament, so in recent weeks politicians have been asked to remove the ‘YES’ badges many of them have taken to wearing. And they have refused. And no less a figure than Joan Burton, the deputy prime minister, has supported them. Clearly, parliamentary rules come a poor second to making a public spectacle of one’s devotion to gay marriage. Wearing a ‘YES’ badge has become a shortcut to the moral highground, a passport to chattering-class respectability, and politicians won’t be taking them off for anyone.

Meanwhile, virtually the entire media are agitating for a Yes vote. Especially the Irish Times, mouthpiece of the smug inhabitants of Dublin 4, Ireland’s version of Islington, only more painfully PC. In this rarefied universe, supporting gay marriage is as natural as breathing, and as necessary too: fail to back gay marriage and you’re as good as dead to the Irish Times-reading set. The public sector also backs gay marriage. It’s apparently being strongarmed to do so. According to one dissenting politician — the only one — ‘agencies who receive state funding are being pressured [by officials] into supporting a Yes vote’.

Silicon Valley is fully behind Yes: Twitter, Google and eBay have all come out for gay marriage. Twitter’s Irish boss says a Yes victory will enhance ‘Ireland’s international reputation’ — another way of saying that if you vote No, you are damaging your own country. Even the police are saying Yes: the Garda Representative Association caused a stir by calling on its members to support gay marriage, leading some to wonder if it’s right for coppers to stick their truncheons into politics.

So, the armed wing, political wing and chattering wing of the Irish elite is behind Yes. And what’s more, they’re actively demonising the No side, treating them as pariahs whose backward ways of thinking could harm Ireland and her citizens. The Psychological Society of Ireland issued a dire warning about the arguments of the anti-gay marriage camp, claiming they could ‘impact detrimentally on people’. A writer for the Irish Times called for the establishment of a ‘homophobia watchdog’ to keep a check on the words of the No side. The end result of the sacralisation of Yes and demonisation of No is a strangled, unfree debate. This is especially the case on social media. There, in the words of O’Hanlon, those who express doubts about gay marriage can find themselves ‘driven offline’.

This moralisation of the marriage debate is a dangerous game, for it means that, whatever the outcome on Friday, Ireland will likely feel more divided than ever — between a new class of allegedly decent people in Dublin and the old, the religious, The Other.

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Show comments
  • http://irelandcalling.com Ireland Calling

    It’s an impassioned article but I think the final outcome of the referendum proved it wrong. Unlike the claim of the last paragraph there was no divide between Dublin and the rest of the country. In fact one of the major points of interest is how widespread the Yes vote was – all parts of the country voted yes, not just the cities, and especially not just Dublin.

  • HWe

    Even disqus appears to have censored me for saying it’s bad math indeed 🙂

  • wayne costello

    Apparently in Ireland the ‘je suis Charlie-like freedom of speech’ is only applicable if the content suits a liberal agenda. The ‘yes’ campaign was largely one based on inclusion and tolerance yet those same advocates have openly been hostile to any dissention and have been vehemently anti religious in the process. Seemingly” intolerance” attaches exclusively to those with religious affiliation only. Those who hurl anti theist vituperation and bile are only exercising ” freedom of speech” whilst promoting equality…..and not bigotry….god no!…they are far too self righteous to be bigots ….but it is kind of convenient… the lack of awareness and hypocrisy is why it is so laughably pathetic.

  • Andrew G Alfie Mooney

    erm, 60% Yes to #MarRef was vote for Justice not ‘victory’ over adversial cult trolls. You don’t fight a cult, you debunk it. Result = End Game for Roman KKKult on #IslesOfWonder. BO’N is a desperate loser: “haterz gonna hate, shake it off!” Do not feed The Spectator troll-fest. LOLOLOLOL!

  • mollysdad

    I’ll be buggered if I ever go to ireland.

    • http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html TNT

      In your dreams, you are buggered one way or another.

  • Benjamin O’Donnell

    Well, as an gay-friendly atheist, I am tempted to say: “Well now you know what it feels like!”

    However, while most of these complaints sound like sour grapes and whinging – a few of them (breach of Parliamentary rules, police union interference, pressure on publicly funded corporations, etc) sound impermissibly overzealous to me.

  • StephanieJCW

    If Brendan O’Neill was living in 1950s United States he would oppose the civil rights movement. The man is a professional contrarian.

    Good for Ireland in voting to grant it’s homosexual citizens the rights and responsibilities as its heterosexual ones. Shame on O’Neill for supporting according gay men and gay women second class status.

    • Quest for Liberty

      I think you may misunderstand. He is complaining about unwarranted inequality and inconsistency in the dealings with the different sides of the debate; the opposition is to an ignorance and bigotry that has overtaken those who think themselves liberal and tolerant.

    • Michael Ejercito

      So, the entire purpose of marriage was to put gays into second-class status. The concept of sexual orientation did not exist until the mid-19th century; defining marriage as between one man and one woman predates that.

      • http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html TNT

        You’re an educated man – you know that you don’t need to give something an official title in order for it to exist.

        • Michael Ejercito

          True. However, if no one knew understood the concept of sexual orientation at the time marriage was invented, then the opposite-sex definition was adopted despite, and not because of the existence of gay people.

          • http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html TNT

            Yes, the will of the majority of that time prevailed.

            But the world has evolved, and ideas and acceptance with it.

  • Sean

    God warned us that mankind would spiritually deteriorate in the last days, that many would turn away from him.
    The reason for the yes vote, is because there’s very few white Irish Catholics left in the Republic of Ireland. Immigrants have displaced the native population.

    • bb

      In 2012, 84.5% of the population of Ireland were White Irish and 84.1% were Roman Catholic. You’re just wrong, then.

      • Sean

        According to an inaccurate census! How many illegal immigrants are there wandering about? All I see is dark skins.
        I tell you what bb, nobody asked you for your opinion, so keep it to yourself!

        • bb

          I was just correcting your very clearly incorrect statement that “there’s very few white Irish Catholics left in the republic of Ireland” but if you think the census is wrong on the basis of your own personal experience, then go for your life. Good luck.

          • bb

            By the way, I forgot to mention hat the other day, I heard that the pope has ceased to be catholic and bears have stopped shitting in the woods. I now believe this to be true on the basis of nothing. Don’t try and convince me with fancy modern “facts”.

          • Sean

            Who are you to correct anybody? Just keep believing everything the system feeds you bb.
            Now piss off, troll!

            • bb

              Amazing

  • bb

    Freedom of speech doesn’t mean all views are entitled to equal respect: it just means you’re entitled to express the views. If the view you express is stupid- expect everyone else to shout you down. It is the right to express not the content of the expression that is protected.

    • Fred Allen

      So shouting someone down is the means by which you exchange ideas?

      • Tom Sullivan

        Par for the course with the modern-day trendy-liberal leftie.

        • bb

          A useful contribution to the debate. Thanks.

          • Tom Sullivan

            You are most welcome. Don’t mention it.

      • bb

        I was using “shouting down” as shorthand for expressing a strongly held contrary view that garners the support of a majority. If that wasn’t clear then Im sorry. I suspect however that it was clear.

    • Fred Allen

      “Shut up!” he explained.

      • bb

        Genius

    • Tom Sullivan

      “If the view you express is stupid”

      Who gets to determine if it is stupid? The same hive-mind that is the “everyone else” who will “shout you down”?

      The right to express AND the content of the expression are protected. Unless the content of the expression is calling for physical harm or tangible loss to be caused to a third party.

      • bb

        I probably didn’t express what I meant clearly enough. What I meant was that of course (as you say) there is a right to express whatever you like (subject to the physical harm etc exceptions) BUT there is no right to respect for what you say: my point is that this article seems to suggest that more than just having a right to hold the opinion that gay marriage is wrong, somehow they are entitled to protection from strongly expressed contrary views from those who don’t share their view. They are not. Franky it is open to anyone to challenge, satirise, and even ridicule views they don’t share: if the views being challenged mocked and ridiculed are susceptible to robust defence, then those defending them will ultimately garner enough support so that they become the majority view.

        • Tom Sullivan

          That “no right to respect” argument cuts both ways.

          • bb

            Of course – I agree with you.

  • Ambientereal

    I´m not against gay-marriage but against calling it “marriage”. Historically “marriage” (matrimony) is the permission given to a woman to bear children, that´s the origin of the particle matri = mother. Male gay couples can´t bear children so, it is purposeless to give them permission. By female gay couples it goes only by artificial insemination, and that too has it´s own ways and laws. I believe that names are important, you can´t call “Miss” to a born man that looks like a woman.

    • bb

      Do you also campaign outside factories that claim to “manufacture” things because they no longer make things by hand as the name suggests?? Come on, this is a stupid argument.

      • Ambientereal

        Mostly, opposition or disagreement in gay matters come from names. If they find another name, most hetero people accept, but no, they want to be “equal”. In my neighborhood a pub built a third restroom for trans-homos calling it “theirs” and they refused to use it, although it was by far more comfortable. Not satisfied with it, they even denounced the Pub owner to the anti-discrimination bureau.

        • bb

          Firstly, that anecdote sounds made up to me, but lets assume its not for the purpose of this debate. Secondly, I’m not sure I know what you mean by trans-homos but lets assume you mean transexuals. The problem with your anecdote is that it reads directly onto apertheid era south africa or seggregation in the Southern USA, change transexuals for black people and your anecdote reads as follows: “In my neighborhood a pub built separate restrooms for black people calling it “theirs” and they refused to use it, although it was by far more comfortable. Not satisfied with it, they even denounced the Pub owner to the anti-discrimination bureau.” Yes, and quite rightly so.

          • Ambientereal

            You actually believe that women should share their facilities with disguised men? Is it for you not enough that women are so frequently abused in streets, parks and so one? you want to offer the abusers another place to do so? Transexuals are not women and any hetero man can disguise himself and enter a women´s restroom. Not only in a pub, where there are many people around, but there are many isolated places where a disguised man can get in the women´s and abuse them.

            • bb

              I see, so your concern is men dressed as women who are out to out to abuse women in the women’s toilet but who would have been prevented from going into the women’s toilet by a rule that says “No men dressed as women to go into the women’s toilet”. The sort of people who would utterly scrupulously observe that rule but who would be pretty cavalier about the “don’t abuse women” rule. I see.

              • Ambientereal

                Women have a right to privacy, men urinate in the WC and sprinkle all over it, women need privacy for reasons everybody knows, but no, they have to surrender all their rights because some confused men need to feel “equal” in the toilet.

          • Ambientereal

            By the way, black and white people are equal, even genetically, trans and women are not!!!

    • LaurenceBoyce

      Yes but “marriage” comes from marito meaning husband, so I think we’re all covered. Gay men can have marriage, and lesbians can have matrimony. Phew!

      • Ambientereal

        Yes, you see it is also referred to women, and why are they allowed to have a marito? Of course in order to bear children (not to have sexual pleasure)

  • Sten vs Bren

    “There’s a profound irony here: Ireland’s political class calls for a Yes vote to prove that Ireland has moved on from its intolerant religious past, and yet some of that old intolerance is being rehabilitated by the very people backing gay marriage.”

    That is not an irony, at all; marriage is a conservative institution so, it follows perfectly that there would be trenchant and noisy support for it from some of the same people involved in that ‘intolerant religious past’. Some of them will be seeking an intolerant religious present.

  • http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html TNT

    “They shush dissent and demonise their opponents as effectively as any priest used to do, only in the name of Gays rather than God. ”

    The difference being that gays actually exist and have real feelings, and rights to personal liberty. You don’t have to be a leftist to have a clear head on this particular issue.

    • Michael Ejercito

      Since when was same-sex marriage a right?

      • http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html TNT

        As of about now. Long overdue, of course.

        • Michael Ejercito

          What makes same-sex marriage a right?

          • http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html TNT

            Decency. Fairness. The ability to look outside of ourselves and beyond our own inherited cage. The unwillingness to project our own prejudices onto God who, after all, has long maintained a dignified silence on many matters, all of them more morally dubious than this one.

            • Michael Ejercito

              Are there any published writings dating back from the Reformation or the Enlightenment (from which Ireland gets its secular moral traditions) decrying the injustice of not letting same-sex couples wed?

              • http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html TNT

                Are they even necessary? Are we still bound to the legal mores of our dead ancestors?

  • J K

    Once again the cognitive dissonance required to believe this kind of tripe is mind-boggling. “to be a naysayer in relation to gay marriage is basically to make yourself a moral leper” – how about real exclusion – the persecution leveled against gay people in Ireland throughout its history? O’Neill blows fact free hot air and happily disregarding the real facts on the ground. Here’s one: “Gay people in Ireland are seven times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexuals, according to new research by the Royal College of Surgeons” Sunday Times 31/03/2013 – and why are they more likely to commit self-harm? because the country is ripe with homophobic bullying bigots who the likes of O’Neill simply turn a blind eye to and in so doing tacitly encourage. Real ‘division’ is when you’re scared to come out because you will be harassed, bullied and labelled deviant. Even so I can’t help feeling I’m wasting my time haranguing O’Neill given the formidable stupidity of his concluding paragraph – “this moralisation of the marriage debate is a dangerous game” – in which he moralises against moralising could only have been written by an abject moron.

  • al skinner

    Oh, get over yourself.
    Someone probably wrote something very similar about votes for women at some point.

  • Teacher

    Happily, the vote will be a secret ballot so, just as the ‘quiet Tories’ had their say, those who agree and disagree will be able to vote whatever they choose without fear of reprisal.

  • Richard

    People are very sensitive in their ability to see where future power lies. They want to be part of the winning side. That is all it is. The issue at hand is immaterial.

  • Conway

    This referendum is now only ostensibly about gay marriage: more fundamentally it has become a means for a new, PC, post-traditionalist elite to distinguish itself from the allegedly hateful and gruff inhabitants of Ireland’s more rural, old-fashioned communities.“… “So, the armed wing, political wing and chattering wing of the Irish elite is behind Yes. And what’s more, they’re actively demonising the No side, treating them as pariahs whose backward ways of thinking could harm Ireland and her citizens. ” I knew they’d get there in the end. Welcome to our world 🙁

  • Gavin Neville Charles Morrison

    This is utter rubbish. Firstly, Breda O’Brien, a notable No campaigner has a weekly column in the Irish Times (which is apparently demonising No voters). In all television appearances there is a legal requirement for “balance” to the point that if someone says yes the presenter will say No just for the sake of balance. There is no silencing of debate of in Ireland. There are always soem people who are unpleasant, they exist on both sides of this debate (a close friend of mine was verbally assaulted in the street for wearing a Yes badge, if we’re going to use purely anecdotal evidence to make sweeping generalisations then this would be evidence of systematic homophobia in Ireland, but then we don’t need anecdotal evidence for that because there is systematic homophobia in Ireland). The fact that a majority of people in Dublin support gay marriage does not mean there is some sort of elite conspiracy. To suggest so is utter drivel and that this piece has been published as utterly shameful for the entire profession of journalism.

  • Carlos Malleum

    10/10 Brendan A++

  • daviduk84

    It’s a shared agenda: the left get to enhance the fascist state they have always dreamed of and damage the institution of marriage. The gay lobby get to criminalize a failure to support them.

    As usual, it’s only freedom that loses.

  • Daws7

    The Yes voters are just the useful idiots of the UN and the Left’s social engineering agenda.

  • hill16bhoy

    The No side have 50% of the broadcast debate by law. Only in the parallel universe inhabited by the No side does that constitute “silencing”.

    The No side are the only side that have attempted to shut down debate and free speech, bringing court cases to stop themselves from more than fairly being called out for what they are.

    Well known Yes campaigners have received hate mail. Yes posters have been torn down (No posters also have but the No side is the only one claiming exclusive rights to being bullied when they’re doing at least as much if not more of it).

    The No side have refused to reveal how they are funded but make an issue of the Yes side’s funding despite it being transparent. Some laugh.

    The No side have not debated on the issues, instead choosing to debate on red herrings and thinly veiled base prejudice against gay people.

    The No side want to impose, their theocratic, backward looking worldview on the rest of us.

    Thankfully I have full confidence they will fail.

    • Tom Sullivan

      The No side had nowhere near 50% of the media exposure. 10%, if that.

      A few individuals on the No side took a court case against a broadcaster that had engaged in libel. This took place long before the referendumb campaign had started in earnest.

      The No side haven’t refused to reveal how they are funded. This is a lie. Whatever the source of their funding, it was a fraction of that made available to the Yes propagandists.

      The No side don’t want to impose anything. The Yes side were the ones who were relentless in imposing their Cultural Marxist, politically-correct mindset on the nation and who screamed “bigot” and “homophobe” at anyone who expresses even the slightest of doubts.

      For what it is worth, I’m not and never have been a Catholic (I grew up a Protestant) and I’m not in the slightest bit religious.

      • hill16bhoy

        As I said the No side had 50% of the broadcast debate by law.

        What the No side seem to have a problem with is simply that far more people supported a Yes vote. The bitterness coming from their side as to this simple fact says it all. They seem to believe that Yes supporters should not have a right to publicly voice these opinions.

        Breda O’Brien tried to make an issue of the Yes side’s funding on The Last Word. When Matt Cooper asked her from where IONA was funded, she hadn’t a clue. IONA refuses to register with SIPO and will not reveal where its funding comes from, because it’s pretty clear it mostly comes from ultra-conservative US groups who thy don’t want to be publicly associated with. The Yes side’s funding was entirely transparent.

        Every No argument was based on fear and thinly veiled prejudice against gay people. Real Ireland has spoken loudly and rejected these arguments. It has decided that every person shold have the right to marry the person they love. And that’s a wonderful thing.

  • Daws7

    Clearly someone has laced the potcheen! If the Yes vote goes through it will be a dark day for Ireland. History will prove this utter nonsense wrong and a future generation will have to undo the mess left by the ‘adults’ of our generation.
    Threesome marriages are next according to the leader of the UK Greens. Our poor children.
    The brainwashing and shallowness of thought in this debate is staggering. The world is completely losing the plot and there will be a price to pay. I am even entertaining conspiracy theory at the moment as a possible explanation for this idiocy!

    • http://www.ophiuchuscube.com/ Hendrik

      Jesus will be so disappointed, I think he might decide never to return to Earth again.
      Religious rules are the best … why let 2 consenting adult men get married, when your local priest can rape your children? Why let 2 consenting adult women get married, when ISIS can take 12 year old girls and marry them off to middle aged men?

      • Maria_MacLachlan

        Amen!

      • Daws7

        And this is the pathetic level of the debate! I rest my case!

  • justsomeone

    And that is why the far left isn’t uncomfortable with Islamist demands to ban any speech they find objectionable. The far left is big on stifling free speech.

  • Swell Bird

    Please Ireland, vote no. Stick it to the man!

  • spiritof78

    Sometimes one has to be intolerant of intolerance.

    • MA0

      Not as often as one has to be intolerant of tolerance.

    • justsomeone

      But not Muslim intolerance, nor of pro gay-marriage intolerance, one has to be tolerant of those.

      • spiritof78

        That sounds like a form of victim paranoia

        • justsomeone

          You don’t sound very tolerant and you’re even proud of being intolerant so you can hardly claim that people who feel you’re intolerant towards them are ‘paranoid’. They just don’t like you.

          • spiritof78

            Its nothing to do with me. You were talking of being forced to tolerate ‘Muslim intolerance’, ‘pro gay marriage intolerance’.

            • justsomeone

              And they are as intolerant as you. Well, hard-line Muslims are even more intolerant than you. We’re supposed to pretend they are tolerant. To say otherwise is apparently ‘paranoid’ haha.

              • spiritof78

                You seem bent on ad hominem attacks. In what way am intolerant?

                • justsomeone

                  Labeling people who fear the intolerant as ‘paranoid’ is a sign of intolerance and of support for the intolerant.

                • spiritof78

                  Having inflated and excessive fear of Muslim intolerance and pro- gay marriage seems a form of paranoia to me. And certainly I don’t normally tolerate intolerance.

                • justsomeone

                  “Excessive fear” haha 🙂 Some police officers in America were ordered to pay thousands of dollars(each) to someone for calling him by his actual name – a male name – when he was held in custody. The band of thugs (i.e, the judiciary) ruled that this was disrespectful because he thinks he’s a woman.
                  The message to everyone is: “if a man thinks he’s a woman, pretend he’s a woman or we’ll punish you”.
                  As for Muslim intolerance, well it’s a lot worse than even the worst excesses of the pro-gay, pro-trans left-wing tyrants, and can include murder. The “islamophobes” at Charlie Hebdo – they were phobic about Islam rather than realizing that Islam isn’t at all dangerous – were gunned down in France by Muslims who won’t tolerate even a stick-figure cartoon of Mohammed.

    • Tom Sullivan

      Yes, isn’t it ironic how intolerant the “tolerant” are?

      • spiritof78

        If everyone tolerates the intolerant, then soon intolerance takes over in all walks of life. Is that what you desire?

  • Tom Colman

    Poor old Ireland has loss the plot! Politicians can change the laws but they cannot change human nature! God bless Ireland and give its politicians some back bone!

    • Neil Saunders

      The whole developed world has “lost the plot” (or, to be more precise, is now closely following a new script).

      I’m not sure I agree with everything that he says in detail, but I think that the Scottish-Canadian podcaster/blogger Alan Watt (of “Cutting Through the Matrix” notoriety) is definitely on to something when he sees the entire political system/academe/culture industry as a huge, well-established conspiracy (!) by a relatively tiny elite to impose conformity and compliance of thought and behaviour on the general populations (i.e. you and me) of complex societies

  • jmk

    “Twitter’s Irish boss says a Yes victory will enhance ‘Ireland’s international reputation’ — another way of saying that if you vote No, you are damaging your own country.”

    God forbid any businessperson might be able to voice an opinion on the debate as well, Brendan.

    • Michael Ejercito

      How is Ireland’s reputation in Saudi Arabia now?

      • http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html TNT

        Anyone who is concerned about their reputation among any group of Muslims has a serious mental illness, or at the very least no moral core.

        • Michael Ejercito

          Very good point.

          Ireland should only care about its reputation to God- not Saudi Arabia, not Britain, not the U.S.. God is Sovereign over all.

          • http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html TNT

            Including – if you want to take a religious approach – over his gay children. They are not a modern invention. They have been among us from the start… and they are really the least of our problems. 🙂

      • jmk

        How is the reputation of a nominally catholic, Western, modern liberalndemocracy in one of the most repressed dictatorships of the world?

        Probably the same as mainland Britain, France, the Nordics, Luxembourg and other European states that recognise same-sex marriage.

  • Dorothy

    The thing is, all of the language here being used about individuals calling for a No Vote: ‘suffocated’, ‘demonised’, ‘a moral leper, unfit for…society, ripe for exclusion from respectable circles’…….. This is the language that LGBT people have been facing for years. Has no one thought about this?

    This referendum has been incredibly hard on these people as well: seeing such a huge portion of the population of your own country actively promoting the denial of your chance to be happy is so hurtful. Every poster, every red herring about ‘gay parents being inadequate’ is another stinging barb. Whether or not this referendum passes, Ireland has already been divided by this. It’s sad to see so many intelligent, educated adults believing they deserve the privilege to be superior to other intelligent, educated adults, and using cheap, irrelevant tactics, like cute babies on posters, to maintain this privilege.

    I’m not attacking anyone for their right to an opinion, but it’s very sad to see the ‘No’ camp try and pass themselves off as the victims, when for so, so, many years, LGBT people have struggled to have any kind of voice in society.

    • Grant Melville

      “‘suffocated’, ‘demonised’, ‘a moral leper, unfit for…society, ripe for exclusion from respectable circles’…….. This is the language that LGBT people have been facing for years. Has no one thought about this?”
      Yes, a lot of people have thought about it. I think that’s the point here, that two wrongs don’t make a right. Now that this group, so-called LGBT, have the upper hand and the support of the elites, they’re measuring out the same hatred as they were dealt. The persecuted have become the persecutors, the un-tolerated have become intolerant. Are you surprised that the ‘No’ campaign are aiming barbs at gay ‘parenthood’ and the like? They feel trapped, cornered and frightened – a towering Goliath is threatening to socially exterminate them. No, the posters aren’t pretty, but what can you expect – hatred breeds hatred. The ‘No’ camp are victims, like it or not. Some will say they deserve it, but in saying that, they surrender the questionable ‘moral’ high-ground. Again, two wrongs don’t make a right.
      Also, you seem to suggest that heterosexual married couples have the monopoly on happiness and superiority – that is in itself a sort of emotive propaganda, not unlike the cute babies. ‘Marriage’ will garauntee neither happiness nor ‘equality’ for homosexuals. Furthermore, marriage is not a ‘privilege’, some sort of perk or benefit which homosexuals are being denied. It’s a state of union, by definition achievable only by a man and a woman. The notion of ‘equality’ is absolutely nonsensical: is a partnership of two men or two women equal to a partnership of a man and a woman? Of course not. They’re three completely different things. Is a chair ‘equal’ to a table? The two are different things, sharing some characteristics, but not comparable within the same category of ‘table’ or ‘chair’.

    • MA0

         “seeing such a huge portion of the population of your own country actively promoting the denial of your chance to be happy is so hurtful”

      “Hurtful”? This kind of emotive language sounds like blackmail, in my opinion. Traditional moral law has been hacked out over millennia, often in an impartial and logical way. It is hard to get right. A tiny proportion of homosexuals crave the privilege to marry. Yet that privilege has serious implications for the public meaning of marriage for all. When the issue is framed in terms of the ‘hurt’ felt by a tiny number whose relationships are not recognised in an official contractual framework, I do question the sincerity of the sentiment. Even with their marriage contract in hand, many people will not recognise a couple’s homosexual relationship in the way this tiny minority claims to want, and no law is ever going to change that. Homosexual and heterosexual relationships simply never will be equivalent. Why does this tiny minority want ‘equal marriage’ so hard? Why demand that the state treat equally two things which are not equivalent? Would it not suffice to do what many homosexual couples have always done: cohabit in peace without demanding formal public approval?

      Marriage is a public thing, done in front of friends, family, a public official, and God. It needs to be public to avoid bigamy, i.e. the legal acceptance of mutually contradictory contracts, and to socialise the intent to stay together till death, not least for the sake of any children which issue. It is public so that the couple’s society can promise to support the couple staying true. Society has a vested interest in this outcome. Is the same incentive there for society in the case of homosexual couples? Law isn’t there just to indulge the feelings of ‘hurt’ which some individuals have. If it were, nothing at all would be legal any more.

      • http://www.ophiuchuscube.com/ Hendrik

        How does it affect YOUR marriage exactly? Do tell me please …

        • MA0

            “How does it affect YOUR marriage exactly? Do tell me please …”

          It puts it on a par, officially, with a class of relationship in which s e x can produce no issue and therefore lacks its primary ulterior function, i.e. is functionally broken, a class of relationship in which familiarity with one’s own gender is substituted for the mystery and transcendence of intimacy with the opposite gender. It suggests that marriages in law, like mine, are often about two people satisfying only themselves, for the rest of their lives. It puts it on a par with a fundamentally different kind of relationship. When I married, my marriage was not equivalent (of equal value!) in law, to a homosexual marriage. Now, apparently, it is. Meaning matters.

          • http://www.ophiuchuscube.com/ Hendrik

            No, please don’t. Your marriage is between you and your partner, it is what the two of you promised each other – it has nothing to do with other marriages. I hope you don’t feel your marriage has become fundamentally different when you learn in the news that a husband cheated on his wife, or a wife murdered her husband, because THEY also are on the par with your marriage … but they don’t affect your own personal experience of marriage.
            Your married neighbours, do you know if they have only s e x to procreate? You don’t. Not all straight marriages are/were for the purpose to have children. Do you feel affected when you know a woman who can’t have children because of her age gets married?
            Marriage is a man made construction: nowadays it is constructed to protect people who love each other.
            Your vows to your partner have not changed in meaning because the law changed.
            Marriage is about recognition of people who found their soul mate having built up their lives together … and about the reassurance that when one of the two is dying, that the other one is considered the next of kin, and is allowed to be there when he dies, and knows his partner will not be kicked out of their home.
            Why deny that to people?

            • MA0

              Hendrik, it’s a pleasure discussing this with you, and I appreciate your intelligent response.

              However, I think you are making a repeated category error: you routinely confuse the institution of marriage with the unfortunate failures in particular instances of marriage. Not all marriages end in murder. Last time I checked, cheating and murder are not part of the institution of marriage. Quite the reverse: traditionally the couple vows to exclude s’e’xual relations with others. Homosexuality, on the other hand, now is part of the institution of legal marriage in my country, the UK. When I say to people that I am married, it suggests that I have promised not to cheat on, or murder my spouse. It no longer suggests that my spouse is necessarily of the other gender. It has changed the social and public perception and effect of my marriage to the extent that I have in fact been asked whether I am married to a man or a woman. Of course, I did not get married to try to show society that I am straight, but nevertheless, the public meaning of my marriage has changed.

              I do not agree with you that the private promise between two people is all that matters in marriage. Marriage is a public legal institution, and that is why friends, family, and officials are invited to bear witness to it and support it. Traditional marriage was a complex organism symbolising not just the union of two people, but also the significance of that to their families and their society.

              Finally, to your question “Do you feel affected when you know a woman who can’t have children because of her age gets married?”, my answer is that I don’t know at what age any particular woman ceases to be fertile, and even if such information could be reliably established, I don’t think it would be fair to withdraw from a woman her previous right to marry on the grounds of her age/fertility. That is a very different case from the inclusion in marriage of classes of relationship which never produce a natural biological family. It makes sense to me that marriage law, like other law, attempts to deal with classes of relationships or people. I think it is right that the two classes of relationship, homosexual and heterosexual are treated differently by the law, because they are fundamentally different kinds of relationship, with different consequences for their constituents and society as a whole.

      • Conway

        What the heck is wrong with civil partnerships? All the legal rights of heterosexual marriage, but designed for the target population. Why they have to redefine everybody else’s marriage (without the definitions of adultery and consummation) is beyond me.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    In my lifetime, homosexuality has gone from being a criminal offence (gross indecency) to virtually the lifestyle of choice. Britain had a lot of hang-ups back in the 1950s. Homosexuality cut across the social class structure, invoking such comments as, “How could you associate (nice euphemism) with someone who was clearly your social inferior?”
    And as women were also considered inferior (albeit in a different way), any man that adopted the woman’s role and position was very much letting the side down.
    Now throw in the Irish cultural scene, a country literally raped by Catholicism. Hardly surprising the Irish are struggling for a firm place to stand. Women are facing so much competition; gay boys, p o r n. What’s a straight chick to do other than find a girl friend? How’s the birth rate over there? Still holding up?

    • http://www.ukip.org/ Too Old To Join UKIP

      Did you do a course of very left-wing “British studies” in some University in Japan?!

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