Sunday, May 24, 2015

Raising a glass of beer over Ireland’s same-sex marriage vote

Sister, I think that's a "yes" no?

I love firsts. But nothing like the kinda first that has (and can) impact the world. The recent popular vote in support of same-sex marriage in Ireland is one-of-a-kind. The "yes" vote certainly makes it legal for same-sex couples only in Ireland to marry under the Constitution, but that decision made by the citizens of Ireland, through a popular vote was felt across the globe. Most civilized nations watched this verdict very closely. More so wondering how can a so-so Catholic nation that decriminalized homosexuality decades ago change its course so drastically. How did that ever happen? And more so, when Ireland is still a nation that bans abortion. Times have changed…yeah…times have really-really changed. And why wouldn't it.

But then, again, equal rights are for everyone. Ideally everyone is born with their rights. No one needs no vote to be baptized with their rights. Well, may be, we'll reach there soon too. Many folks argued that marriage is between a man and a woman and that the basic purpose of marriage is reproduction. That's absurd! It’s weird to say that one man and one woman enter into marriage because they want to reproduce. What about companionship? What about couples that get married so late in life, when they cannot have children. Don’t we also call that marriage?

Ireland joins 19 other nations that legalizes same-sex marriage. But what makes Ireland's decision significant is its gumption to leave it to the people to decide what's right for them. Unlike other nations, it didn't wait for the legal courts to make this important decision. More than half of Ireland citizens came out to vote, out of which more than 60% said yes to same-sex marriage.

In the Unites States of America, it takes 50 states to decide whether same-sex marriage should be legalized or not. For now, 36 states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage through the legislative process. Hopefully the Supreme Court's decision which is expected next month will change that state-by-state approach, and legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. In India, although being openly gay or lesbian is no longer taboo, same-sex marriage is still illegal. But the good thing is people are openly talking about it. There are debates and LGBT parades that happen frequently all across the country. And then there's Russia, the Middle East and many African nations which are still intolerant to gays and lesbians. Folks out there are still “in the closet” about who they are. In these nations marriage is a far-off thing. Hopefully this decision in Ireland will warm up talks and discussions in intolerant nations, making it a first step toward allowing people to live the way they want to live without fear. And this cliché about “coming out of the closet” never really exist ever. No individual should be made to feel vulnerable because of her sexual orientation. 

Equality is so simple. It’s about living a free life irrespective of gender, religion, color, wealth. But we human beings simply gatecrash into lives of others with our so-called “life rules and expectations” and complicate things. And it’s of course not cliché to say Live and Let Live.

I don’t drink beer, so can someone just drink a pint of beer to celebrate this great Irish victory on my behalf. They say Murphy's Irish Stout taste real good. Cheers ;-)