In the last decade huge advancements have been made towards the legal rights of those in the LGBTQ community. It was only in 2005 that same-sex marriage became legal nationwide for Canadians, and the U.S still has states yet to legalize marriage equality. Not all that long ago, being homosexual was illegal in many countries. It was only in 1993 that homosexuality was decriminalized in Ireland.
Ireland has come about the issue with a different approach, introducing a referendum for same-sex marriage. Typically, the government either passes a law or doesn’t. With a referendum the nation is called to vote on whether they want to allow for legal union to be equal for all. A referendum is necessary in Ireland to make any amendments to their constitution.
Citizens of Ireland are hopeful the referendum will be passed. Chances are looking good for the LGBTQ community with only 5 of the 256 members of the Irish parliament stating publicly they will vote against same-sex marriage. On Ireland’s same-sex marriage website, they provide information on how voting for the law is the right choice.
Benefits for the pass of marriage equality include: family stability, happier relationships, and more income. The site describes it as “the key to a stable society” and a “commitment device”. A world of equal rights is a safer world. Oppression only leads to backlash and chaos, an environment no one would wish to live within. Due to discrimination, gay, lesbian and trans individuals are at higher risk for mental health issues. The government and by extension the law, is put into place to protect the people it encompasses, and depriving citizens of basic rights is immoral and contradictory to the purpose of these structures.
The Telegraph, puts the news of marriage equality into perspective, saying, “Just think about the impact that would have for a second. If Ireland votes “yes”, it means there could be kids born next month and for years to come, from Galway to Dublin, who have only known equal rights for gay men and women.”
And the same can be said worldwide, as more and more places worldwide are coming to accept and legalize gay and lesbian marriage, new generations are being raised without the cloud of discrimination over their eyes.