Tabhair Dom Do Lámh

Tá. Comhionannas. LADT - Yes. Equality. LGBT
Tá. Comhionannas. LADT – Yes. Equality. LGBT

As you may have guessed An Sionnach Fionn fully supports the proposed amendment to the definition of marriage as outlined in Article 41 of Bunreacht na hÉireann. The addition of a new section will state that Féadfaidh beirt, gan beann ar a ngnéas, conradh pósta a dhéanamh de réir dlí or literally “Two persons may, without regard to their sex, make a contract of marriage in accordance with law” (the English language translation of the constitution will actually read “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex“, a more idiomatic phrasing). It is an entirely sensible and long-overdue reform.

Today’s Irish Times carries a report by Éanna Ó Caollaí on the launch of the pro-equality campaign by the TÁ Comhionannas organisation:

“The group is affiliated with Yes Equality and aims to secure a Yes vote from the Irish-speaking public in the May 22nd referendum.

TÁ Comhionannas spokesman Traolach Ó Buachalla said the referendum is about “giving equal rights to equal citizens”.

Drawing a comparison between the Irish language rights movement and the marriage equality movement, Mr Ó Buachalla said “Equality is a fundamental issue for the Irish language community and I believe there are clear parallels between the cause of those who support Irish language rights and those who support same-sex marriage.”

The purpose behind TÁ Comhionannas, Mr Ó Buachalla said, is to give a voice to those in the Irish speaking community wishing to support the Yes campaign.

The Yes campaign has received cross-party support and Aodhán Ó Ríordáin (Lab), Aonghus Ó Snodaigh (SF), Pat Carey (ex-FF) and Sen Trevor Ó Clochartaigh (SF) attended the TÁ Comhionnanais launch.

Former Fianna Fáil government minister Pat Carey said the interpretation of marriage, which he said was the bedrock of family and community in Ireland, should be inclusive of the LGBT community.

“The Irish language in the way that it describes family is inclusive of the strong tradition of family in Ireland,” Mr Carey said.

The campaign slogan ‘Tabhair dom do lámh’ (Give me your hand) was taken from a composition written by 17th century harpist Ruaidri Dáll Ó Catháin…”

There are many reasons for supporting marriage equality in Ireland and precious few for opposing it. It is simply the right thing to do no matter how vociferous or visceral the fallacious arguments of the anachronistic “homosceptical” lobby may get.

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5 comments

  1. While any two or more individuals should be free to enter into what they hope will be a mutually beneficial contract, I see no justification for such contracts to have any special legal status. That is I don’t see why a civil government should recognise any form of “marriage” whatever, over and above normal legal contracts and partnerships (e.g. business partnerships). This is surely a private matter where the state has no business to interfere, (in the absence of fraud, abuse etc. as with any contract). Historically it is a religious sacrament. Modern secular states don’t recognise baptism or confirmation or whether a person has been ordained into holy orders etc. and it would certainly be unacceptable for a state to discriminate on any such basis. Why then are people treated differently depending on whether or not they’re married? That surely is the root of the inequality here.

    1. Marconatrix, I have some sympathy with that point of view. However most states reflect the social and cultural mores of their citizens, whether contemporary or historical. Marriage as been “institutionalised” within most European states and government systems for centuries, including Ireland. At least this amendment makes its definition somewhat more neutral or universal in application, though I’d prefer no reference to marriage in the constitution at all. It is one of those things best dealt with entirely through legislation.

  2. What’s not mentioned is that both Éanna Ó Caollaí and Traolach Ó Buachalla are former well-heeled classmates from Coláiste Eoin (1984–90). Familiarities aside, the proposed amendment is a re-definition of marriage.

    The opportunism (Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil) and ideology (Labour Party) have proven successful, having distracted the population from the “market liberalisation” programme for Government and, in the process, avoided truly introducing LGBTI equality by legislating against discrimination of teachers in faith-based state funded education institutions.

    Nothing will change for gay and lesbians after a yes vote in the referendum.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/generation-emigration/i-needed-to-leave-ireland-to-come-out-as-a-gay-man-1.2200482

    1. Oh, I think something will definitely change for gay men and women if the referendum is passed. It might not represent full equality in society as a whole, or a doing away with silly concerns about gender identity and sexuality, but it will represent a big step forward. Legally and psychologically. It is not the end of the matter though.

    2. I think that you’re probably right about things not changing much for gay and lesbians after a yes vote and issues facing teachers in faith based school s won’t be immediately adressed by it but it’s important to have the legislation to refer to.
      A thought provoking piece of research published recently by the National Centre for Suicide Research based at UCC highlights concerns around adolescents regarding sexual orientation

      http://lm.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov%2Fpubmed%2F25551899&h=PAQHKbuYN&enc=AZNMuzWObK46LOaTsFdjsci4N_ynm6UW6mJOO-tECWjr9ZU4wDz1HWpXfpxkURrdJUDYram7xbFl-P5lZ137D9M9ZF9lOcPHLjluLNtsFHm3jG39hGRoYTFxq66K7H22cIGkEzTZMNsEUYf9fBFMKJko&s=1

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