May 14th 2015……. tick,tick,tick In 8 shorts days Southern Ireland, will get to vote in a Referendum for or against Marriage Equality. (No it won’t include Northern Ireland, Yes they are 2 separate Countries but that’s a whole other Blog)
In this coming week, folks will pound the pavements, knock on doors eloquently explaining that its not a vote on raising children, or on what kind of sex someone has but on Equality, all while having as many doors slammed in their faces as there are welcoming smiles.
Just because someone is Gay does not alas exempt us from paying the sane taxes, insurances, or following the same laws, BUT in Ireland (South) it does stop you having a Civil Wedding/Marriage. Your money is great, thanks for that!, but your choice to stand before your friends and family and declare love to someone you chose to spend the rest of your life with is. Tick, tick,tick….
One of the huge arguments from both Communities has been, ‘Why do we want the same as everyone else?’ I’m glad you asked!!
Right now if I was rushed into Hospital and found myself fighting for my life, my partner can be legally refused entry to my room, or indeed the floor my Hospital bed is on. Sounds harsh, but it is a factual statement. Worse case scenario, I die, that offers a whole other set of obstacles. She can be kept from saying goodbye to me. Our home which we both jointly hold a Mortgage in, she can be forced to sell it, to give my ‘Family’ half its deemed worth. She can also be forced to allow entry to my ‘blood’ relations for them to retrieve and sell my belongings, shared or not, unless she can prove she solely bought it. Car, House, animals, savings, cheque accounts, etc etc stop being ours but become ‘hers and ‘theirs’ Our lives together could be reduced to a spreadsheet.
My family I have spoken to about this and although I love them dearly (might not like them all the time), they have said of course this wouldn’t happen etc etc but I can’t afford for them in a grief stricken period of time to forget this pledge.
Oh and we have inheritance tax, my G/f will have to pay inheritance tax should my ‘Kin’ allow her to keep the things we purchased in during our life together. It goes on and on. Oh and when my time comes and there may be a decision to make as to whether I want to live in a vegative state, they can chose to pull my ‘plug’ without so much as mentioning it to woman I have loved for over half my life. I could go on and on listing more and more of what we aren’t entitled to regardless of what we pay, but I fear the Referendum would be over before I was finished. Tick, tick,tick….
Ireland, home to St.Patrick, lacking snakes but washed in 40 shades of green that Johnny Cash infamously sang of is also famous for being so devoted to Roman Catholicism. Whatever your Faith or Spiritual beliefs you cannot fail to be impressed by the zeal and fervour that Irish people embrace their Church, and all the rules, ideals contained therein.
Your confirmation, as a young child is one of the most memorable, special days in your life and it is celebrated by everyone that knows you. Getting to make your first confession is while daunting, opens you to a world of absolution that makes you feel as if you have been scrubbed from head to toe of the last impure thought or lie that crossed your mind, allowing you to do it all over again. The majority of children are raised being warned against sex before marriage, they are taught to show the local Priest blanket respect (Whole other blog!) as well as to observe the main Religious holidays. Long gone are the times when they were raised to only marry there own kind and mustn’t ever mix with the other kind (Protestant). In fact abortion is now deemed ‘acceptable’ if the Mothers life is in danger or the pregnancy is a result of rape Which for a land steeped in tradition and myth is more than a giant leap forward. Tick, tick,tick….
The polls are confident that the Equality vote will pass, and in 8 days marriage licenses will be available for all. The Economy will be boosted by the pink Euro, Wedding Planners will embrace their new clients will open arms (and deep pockets).
In 8 days if the vote has passed, no one will wake up and suddenly find the institute of marriage crumbling around their ears, in fact, the sun will rise, the birds will sing, traffic will still be crazy in the morning rush and the first cup of coffee will still bring calm to work day.Tick, tick,tick….
So far most folks are upbeat and believe gay couples should be allowed to marry and be as miserable as straight couples, gotta love that humour!! The irony of all this upbeat, and positivity is that should I be Married in Ireland and move to England, Scotland or Wales, my marriage will be recognised, but the kill shot is, I could travel 25 miles to my family’s home in Northern Ireland and my marriage isn’t recognised, in fact it is void and along with it goes all the benefits it affords my G/f should anything happen to me. Oh, but they will happily accept our money, you have to love the irony. I am so excited that we are on the countdown to a hopefully positive outcome whilst at the same time I am incredibly jealous that I will live on an Island where simple geography can dictate whether I can marry. Tick, tick,tick….