Over the weekend, the Constitutional Convention in Ireland, a project brought into existence to determine which of the major constitutional issues should be brought forward for review and possibly put to a referendum within the next two years, has voted to include marriage equality as one of its main findings.
This is a major step in the right direction as the conservative branch of our Left/Right coalition government has fobbed the issue off, insisting that they will await the findings of the convention before making any moves in the direction of legalising same sex marriage. This is now a stalling tactic they can no longer afford, particularly with Labour Tánaiste Eamonn Gilmore having recently hailed the issue as the “most important Civil Rights issue of our generation”.
Ireland has over the past few months lost a lot of the credibility we have gained as a secular democracy with the tragic and shocking death of Savita Halapanavar, a woman denied a life saving abortion who was told that her rejection was due to Ireland being “a Catholic country.
It would also appear that despite the massive funding to anti-choice groups from America to odious groups such as “Youth Defence” or the Iona Institute (our very own NOM) it appears that legislation allowing abortion when the woman’s health or life is in danger and the risk of suicide will go ahead despite opposition and will not be put to a public vote.
With these large milestones in place, Ireland will add its number to its neighbours of England and France who are also attempting to further the cause of LGBT and women’s rights through their own governments, despite opposition from Theocrats insisting that their way is the only way.
Here’s to a more liberal and secular Ireland and may we continue to grow and develop in 2013 instead of regressing, we need to remain vigilant and insists that in this day and age that people have the right to self determination without religious extremists repression. The fight is no where near over and there is still generations of damage inflicted by the Catholic Church to repair, but we are getting there slowly but surely.