Well here’s two doubly depressing reports relating to the upcoming constitutional referendum which – if successful – will see a clause added to Bunreacht na hÉireann permitting marriage between two legally eligible citizens regardless of their gender. From the UK’s Guardian newspaper:
“…a bitter row has broken out between supporters and opponents over the funding of their respective campaigns. Supporters of a yes vote have accused opponents of a lack of transparency over finances and of accepting funding from rightwing Christian groups in the US.
One of the no side’s strongest supporters in the US is the lavishly funded National Organisation for Marriage (NOM). In a letter to supporters around the world, it has urged evangelical Christians to visit keepmarriage.org, which is campaigning for a no vote.
“Just like in campaigns for marriage here in America,” the letter says, “slanted public opinion polls become fodder to influence and depress supporters of marriage. This is happening in Ireland. If [the no campaign] can manage to pull off a victory, it will be a tremendous boost to the cause of marriage worldwide. Please do what you can to bring awareness to their efforts.”
However, a spokesperson for NOM in the US denied this weekend that it had channelled funds to any of the three main opposition groups to gay marriage during the campaign. NOM is aware that foreign donations to lobby groups during referendums in Ireland are banned, the spokesperson said.”
Anyone who has seen the anti-equality campaign being waged by the minority “No” side, with its glossy publications and professionally-produced videos, will understand that there is serious money underpinning its efforts; and that money most certainly is not in euros. Meanwhile in the Irish Times claims of one of the possible and unexpected side-effects of immigration:
“Tens of thousands of Christian immigrants who have become Irish citizens are being mobilised across the Republic to vote down a historic move to legalise gay marriage in Ireland this week.
While liberal Roman Catholic priests and nuns are defying their bishops to urge a yes vote on Friday, religious leaders in the evangelical Christian community are now placing their congregations on the frontline of the battle to persuade Ireland to say no.
In the yes corner are radical Catholic clergy such as Sister Stanislaus Kennedy, a lifelong anti-poverty campaigner who backed gay marriage last week.
On the no side, more than 30 born-again Christian pastors originally from Africa and representing dozens of churches are urging their congregations to help defeat marriage equality.
And organisers of an evangelical alliance for a No vote believe that the votes of up to 200,000 African and eastern European immigrants, many of them conservative Christians and Muslims, could help swing the vote in favour of no on May 22nd.
Nigerian-born pastor Adewale Kuyebi, from the Christ Apostolic church in the north-west Dublin area of Blanchardstown, predicted that “100 per cent” of his 300 members would be voting no.
“We don’t need to tell them what to do because they already know that it is against the scriptures to allow for same-sex marriages,” he said.
“Our church encourages all our members to vote in this democracy and I am confident all of them are for the no side because they read their Bible and understand what it tells them.
…we do not want a godless law being incorporated into the Irish constitution.”
Pastor Mike Garba, who preaches at the Mountain of Fire and Miracles church in the mainly working-class Finglas district of north Dublin, said he was also confident that all those eligible to vote in his congregation would vote no.
“Our message to our 250-strong congregation is that if you know the rules then you must vote No. We tell them that if you read your Bible then you know that it is against Christianity to see the same-sexes marrying. It is the same in churches like ours all over the country – 100 per cent no to this,” he said.
Such claims are disputed by the pro-yes Immigrant Council of Ireland.”
I’m actually so annoyed with the above reports I think I’ll forgo saying anything else. Instead I’ll wait until Friday to make my reply to the so-called pastors and their Harry Potter churches when I put a large cross beside the word “Yes”on my ballot paper.
Take that you moronic, small-minded bigots with your Bronze Age cults… Ooops…
[Apologies in advance to Sharon D and everyone else. You know I need to vent my secular heathenism every now and again! 😉 ]