LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Yes. Thank goodness for yes. Such a small word, causing so many big emotions on Saturday 23 May when people in the Republic of Ireland voted in favour of same-sex marriage.
I admit I was more than a little bit scared of the outcome. I almost couldn’t believe it when initial reports suggested the results would be positive, but didn’t dare get too excited in case it might ‘jinx’ things somehow.
Personally, I don’t believe an issue of equal rights should have been handed over to a referendum. I was terrified it could set an awful precedent – and it may still do so in countries where gay people have such a long way to go on the road to equality that every human being deserves. This is a victory, and a historic one at that, but public opinion isn’t so tolerant elsewhere. You don’t even have to go that far – there are no plans to bring a similar law to allow us to marry in Northern Ireland.
Do I want every other country in the world to follow in the footsteps of the Republic of Ireland? Hell yes! I’ve said before that I don’t feel marriage is for me, personally, but it’s my right to be able to do so. I recently attended the wedding of my best friend Barry, to his partner Robin, and I can honestly say it was one of the best days of my life. The fact that they’re so happy gives me a joy I never thought I’d experience in my lifetime. And no one should be denied that.
Positive outcomes aside, rights aren’t supposed to be voted on, they’re supposed to be ours anyway. Darren Scott @darren_scott