Saturday, May 23, 2015
Kindness, decency, family. Ireland said yes!
The referendum on civil marriage in Ireland is done.
Votes are being counted. The numbers coming out remind me of the percentage numbers while watching states in the U.S. vote against marriage equality, yet reversed.
In some areas over 70% voted yes to support equality.
I have followed this story for some time. I've watched both campaigns closely and yesterday morning I could barely contain myself as people went to vote.
They went to vote with their families, with their parents, their grandparents, their neighbors, their rugby clubs. They traveled from all over the world to, as one man put it, "mark a box". One photo I saw was of three generations of a family after they had all gone to the poll to vote yes.
One thing that I noticed while watching all of this was the huge amount of conversation around kindness. And decency. And family.
Meaning, a yes vote was the kind thing to do. The decent thing to do. After all, we are talking about rights for our family.
Young people rocked it. They campaigned and they voted. Imagine what our equality laws would look like if young people in the U.S. did the same.
As Ireland's Minister of Health, Leo Varadkar said, "I wanted to be an equal citizen in my own country and today I am".
I am ecstatic.
I guess I should also add here, in case this is the first of my blog posts you have read, that I am Irish. In the 1920's my grandfather left County Mayo for the U.S. He settled in Detroit, married my grandmother, became a U.S. citizen and was a dad to my dad and his six siblings.
Thanks for reading. Éirinn go Brách!