Kissing the Blarney Stone
For all the people who are against gay marriage and hoping that it will all go away, I feel that I must inform you the battle is now officially over, and your side lost.
I say this not to place any value judgement, but rather just to make an observation, From this moment on, you are officially on "The Wrong Side of History."
It's not that there is now an entire country for which gay marriage is legal. After all, that's just one country, and there are so many other countries in the world, so maybe your hopes are still high that you'll be able to keep the "sanctity of marriage" going. Again, though, you must disabuse yourself of that thought. It's over.
As I said, it's not that gay marriage is now legal in one country, Ireland. That's just stating the obvious at its most basic. It's that there is so much more piled on top of that which has now firmly, emphatically and explicitly decided the issue.
For instance, gay marriage wasn't made legal by a court decision that might leave the door open for the public to rise up against "judicial activists". It passed by referendum vote of The People.
Further, it passed resoundingly, with a huge majority of 62% of the vote. A vote of 62-38% is so far outside the margin of error, that you'd need the Hubble Telescope to simply find the border. So, there's no "squeaking through" that leaves the possibility of Irish voters having second thoughts and overturning their decision the next time around..
But there's much more than just that. Importantly, to understand the full meaning of this landslide vote, you must understand the context of it in Ireland. As recently as 1993, just a mere 22 years ago (to put a date on this, that's yesterday when Bill Clinton was president), it was actually illegal in Ireland to commit homosexual acts And now, only two decades later, Ireland has decided that those same homosexuals can marry. That's not a tottering, balancing act of uncertainty that a brisk wind can push in another direction, it's a volcanic change of attitude.
And looking at the context even deeper, as recently as 1995, only a paltry 20 years ago, the Irish people took the sanctity of marriage so profoundly seriously...that divorce was illegal. That's about as deep a view of sanctity of marriage as you can have. Thou shalt not divorce. Ever. So, anyone who tries now to make the argument that the reason you can't have gays wed is because it's against the sanctity of marriage -- well, you just have had the most adamant, strict defenders of the sanctity of marriage, who as recently as 1995 didn't even allow divorce, tell everyone that, as far as sanctity goes, gay marriage is just fine to them.
And finally, on top of all these prominent reasons piling on top of one another for why the issue of gay marriage is over and decided definitively in favor is because its opponents can now no longer use the empty argument that it goes against their Catholic religious beliefs. Because -- again, by way of reminder -- this 62% landslide majority vote occurred in Ireland. And Ireland is 84% Catholic. It might be the most-Catholic country on earth. Indeed, the only place on the globe that's more Catholic than Ireland is probably the Vatican. So, if 84%-Catholic Ireland has now said that they have no religious problem with gay people marrying, it is now pretty much impossible for anyone to point to religion as the barrier.
So, anyone who thinks that this is just a mere matter of one country making gay marriage legal, you are looking down and seeing a one-story building, when in fact if you opened your eyes wider and tilted your head up you'd find that what you're actually looking at is the first floor of a 100-floor skyscraper. This is like being in New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina moved in, and saying after the first levee was breached, "That's okay, it's only one levee," moments before the whole city was flooded underwater.
It's over. History has spoken. And opponents of gay marriage are now officially on the wrong side of it.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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