We’re in the middle of a possibly ground breaking referendum. The Irish are to decide whether same sex couples should have the same right to marry as heterosexuals. When the referendum started, I for myself believed, that it was just a matter of pro forma. However, the No campaigners soon started to mud the water by throwing all kind of things into the ring, which have absolutely nothing to do with the actual point of equal rights. Suddenly we’re talking about children’s rights, surrogacy and the danger that the family as we know it will soon be a thing of the past.
I personally still hope that we’re strong enough to look through all those scaremongering tactics and recognise that it is not about anything of the above, but about two individuals who want to have the same right as their heterosexual counterparts. However, over the past few weeks there has been a surge of gay couples in the streets of our towns and cities who openly parade through the city holding hands and kissing wildly. As if they try to provoke the general public. To be honest, there shouldn’t be anything untoward about this, but it is unusual. It is something we’ve never seen to this extent in the streets of Ireland. It’s overwhelming. I wonder, do those couples understand that they may actually scare the general public and drive some undecided or even potential yes-voters towards the N0 front. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with gay couples to kiss and hold hands, just like anyone else would do. What I’m saying is “you haven’t done this up until now, so don’t overdo it in the run up to the referendum.” I seriously believe that this is counter-productive. You have to ease the general public into this new reality and not scare them of things to come.