Mary McAleese Supports Gay Marriage

…I assume. From a brief news piece on the President’s speech at a national forum for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered youth: 

President McAleese said that in order to respect diversity among young people, society needed to stand up for democratic values and refuse to go along with loudly voiced prejudices.

I take it this also includes refusing to go along with the loudly voiced prejudices or Ireland’s conservative Catholic majority? I’m getting antsy. Can we have our enlightenment yet?

I don’t know what McAleese’s stance is on gay marriage, so I can neither support nor condemn her. It just makes me uncomfortable to see a representative of our country making statements like this when it’s so clear that the majority of the people in this country will never let it be more than an empty soundbite.

8 Replies to “Mary McAleese Supports Gay Marriage”

  1. jeez, relax!

    I understand that a civil partnership bill has been promised during the lifetime of this Government.

    No it’s not full marriage, but it will be a big step.

  2. Big fan of separate but equal, are you Stephen? I applaud the government for doing all it can (because anything more would require a referendum virtually guaranteed to fail) but that doesn’t mean we can’t be angry at the people who would stand in the way of what’s right.

  3. Seperate but equal is fine by me – if people want their partnership tied up in the centuries of ‘marriage’ related baggage and all of the constitutional red tape that comes with the ‘protection of the family’, fine. (7 years for a divorce? seriously?)
    Meanwhile sensible people can go for the option that provides the same legal rights.

    I think that the ideal solution is for the state to offer to administer a legal contract (or set of contracts) that offers the legal rights associated with marriage. This should be available to any two people who want it. Whether it’s called ‘marriage’ or not is irrelevant to me.

    However I am prepared to accept the interim measure of civil partnerships until people catch up. (Incidentally, have you actually heard people ‘standing against what’s right’? I’m not being facetious; but it has been my understanding that there has been broad consensus on civil partnerships at least)

  4. Mary McAleese made no comment on Gay marrige in her speach.

    Its refreshing to see a leader so open with her veiws though.
    She is an amazing woman and I enjoyed meeting her.

    She seemed to have a very genuine concern for gay youth.
    I really enjoyed meeting her on the Galway trip with Waterford LGBT youth service “Chill out”

  5. Ok, I’ve obviously got the tone of this post completely wrong. I’m not trying to get at Mrs McAleese—everything she has said here is entirely commendable. What I’m saying is that she has cast into sharp relief for me once again that the government still doesn’t think it would be able to have a successful referendum on the subject. That’s a horrible reflection of the continued bigotry of the majority of the populace.

    Whether you think about marriage, it’s not ok to legally discriminate between people based on sexuality. I’m sure there would be more opposition to abolishing legal marriage altogether in favour of civil unions than there is to same-sex marriage, but I agree it would be equally fair.

    Importantly, I know that it’s the case in many jurisdictions that civil unions do not grant the same rights as marriages. If that’s the case with the Irish proposition for same-sex unions, then laudable as that progress is it’s clearly not complete. I would be thrilled (and surprised) if someone could demonstrate to me that civil unions will be legally on a par with marriage, but sadly I don’t expect that to happen any time soon.

  6. I think we both want us to end up in the same place. I’ve just been on a ‘things aren’t so bad’ kick lately, and so rather than highlighting residual discrimination I am more likely to take the view that progress from homosexual acts being a criminal offence and contraception being available to married people only by prescription to a civil partnership bill in 20 years represents an acceptable pace of change.

  7. Personally I still find the idea that our nation (or any nation) annoints what is essentially a religious ritual with longterm benefits and retrictions on individual freedom. I mean, until the mid nineties it was impossible to get divorced in Ireland, now it’s slightly better but still absurdly long (trial separation, long term separation, legal separation, reconciliation councelling yadda yadda yadda) not to mention the fact that such legal recognitions are an intrusion on a private matter. Ok, so we have come a long way in 20 years (we arent burning homosexuals at the stake any more) but why should we be taking so long to move into the 21st century … I mean besides the length of time it takes the older generation to die off in sufficient numbers to allow the zeitgeist to shift a little?

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