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

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