What a day, what a day, what a day…

A warning. What follows will be rambling, disjointed and emotional.

As I write this it’s half an hour passed ten on May 23rd, the morning after the referendum and since nine o’clock an army of dutiful citizens have been counting votes for the first election of its kind in the history of the world: a popular vote to allow marriage for our gay and lesbian countrymen. We were told we wouldn’t know until around three this afternoon. Turns out they didn’t need that long.

It was a walk. No contest.

Love took on the forces of bigotry, inertia, prejudice and fear and love kicked their asses like Captain America in an elevator.

Dublin went Yes by 75%. The victory was not a surprise, the margin was. But even in the rural areas, the “real” Ireland, it’s been a landslide.

Even Donegal, who usually vote against the rest of the country out of spite because they still don’t have trains, are 55% in favour.

The final tally is still being counted but we’re looking at 2:1 in favour.

I’ve been hearing a lot of people saying that, while it’s wonderful that the vote has gone this way, the rights of minorities really should not be decided by popular vote. But here’s the thing, NONE of us have any rights other than what society gives us. And a system where rights are provided by unelected judges or legislators is also a system where those rights can be taken AWAY by those same elites. This referendum has been wonderful because it has brought a debate that elsewhere has been decided in courtrooms and political chambers and brought it to the street, to the doorstep, to every kitchen and living room, pub and church. It was wonderful because the arguments of the NO side were placed in front of the Irish people and revealed as hollow, empty, circular and utterly disengenous.

LGBT Irish men and women and their straight family, friends and allies did not have to sit at home and impotently wait with baited breath hoping that some bill would give them equality. They went out and won it for themselves. They knocked on doors, they sat down with family members, they endured lies and harassment and abuse and they WON. They won because they won the argument. They won because the other side had a ton of money from North American conservatives and literally nothing else. They won because the NO side came out with this:

sV7x7Eh

And we responded with this:

Batman always wins.

Batman always wins.

Thank you to the Home to Vote crowd, the hundreds of Irish emigrés who emptied their bank accounts and called in sick to work just so they could come home and be part of history.

Thank you to those young Irish who voted for the first time in this referendum and defied the cynicism and distrust of your elders to vote in record numbers. You are the best of us.

I’ve never felt so proud. What a day. What a day. What a day.

54 comments

  1. What a truly nauseating poster. It reminds me of the cloying celebrations of the perfect aryan family that used to pollute the graphic art of Third Reich Germany, in its classic appeal to the incurably narrow-minded. Shame no-one thought to do the Batman thing back then…

      1. This is probably my favourite response to the Irish conservatives so far.

        http://www.buzzfeed.com/skarlan/love-always-wins#.wxpn3NdYO

        If my estimates are correct the Philippines will have to decide on gay marriage in about half a decade, and if I actually have a social life and a girlfriend by then, we are totally going to do this whenever we see protestors on the street. Relationship goals confirmed.

  2. Reblogged this on Invisible Mikey and commented:
    This story was so important, I was up at 3am watching live results.
    How could it possibly happen in a conservative, Catholic country?
    Because no people understand what it is to be oppressed better than the Irish.

    1. It’s not just Batman, Mick Jagger was raised by a toothless, beardless hag and he became Jumping Jack Flash. If butlers and toothless, beardless hags can raise great kids gay parents can too :p

      1. Not to mention widows/widowers and all the single parents, all the single parents, whoa-oh-oh, oh-oh oh oh-oh.

      2. Why? Unless you forgot I was talking about the Beatle song and you thought I was reffering to the godawful overrated pop star who appropriated the Kabblah.

      3. Update ever since this post I have heard Vouge on the radio and liked it I am so sorry

        Also, do you mind if I submit the last paragraph of your coming out post on religioustolerance.org? They actually have a whole series of updates on the whole thing and all of them are pro-equality as far as I’m aware, thought it may be useful to quote you

  3. Hahaha, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you so excited! Fantastic news. Well done, Ireland. We’d be right behind you if it wasn’t for the gutless bogans in Parliament.

  4. Congragulations, Mouse! A group I joined on Facebook (yes I am a product of my generation I know) is celebrating over the outcome and you should see all their happy little pansexual faces :p

    I’ll be waiting for the final result, then after that I’m afraid I’ll have to watch my favourite television program ‘Watching Tony Abbot Squirm’. (Speaking of which, an Aussie friend of mine said she would gladly be run over by wombats over any day, no idea why. I told her about you and the Bulthverse and Map of Wartime Europe and she was kind of confused, though she wished you future success, or something.)

      1. I’ll admit that it wouldn’t be too bad, though my friend says that unfortunately it’s not bound to happen anytime soon unless Diprotodon (no I did not copy and paste that *shifts eyes nervously*) comes back to life, or something like that.

        Also, I must give her that link.

  5. And here is the the testament of an Irish woman, who campaigned for the “no” side:

    “I am an Irish citizen who voted and campaigned for a NO vote. For anyone who thinks we were negligent concerning the Gospel or in any other way, let me tell you some of what we were up against…

    “This news is devastating to the nearly 37.9% of us who voted NO, many of us born-again Christians. We tried so hard to prevent it, but were up against every political party and up against millions of US dollars that were being poured into the yes campaign. American billionaire, Chuck Feeney alone contributed over $24 million. Every ‘civil rights’ group on the block was behind the yes vote. When NO vote campaign signs were posted in Dublin and other places, they were vandalised. Public media is supposed to allow 50:50 coverage for each side of a constitutional issue. This was blatantly ignored. The public police force was drafted in to support the YES vote and to register college students to vote, and they passed out YES badges to each student as they did so. And these things are only part of the story. The pressure was incessant and unbelievable. Even the ballot paper was biased. We argued that the term ‘marriage equality’ was biased, but yet that term made it on to the ballot paper.

    “Meanwhile, Christians fasted and prayed. We passed out flyers. We used social media to communicate our concerns. But all this was on a very grassroots level. Only the Iona Institute stood up for the No vote. Only three representatives in our entire Dail (our parliament) stood up for a No vote. Is there any small nation on earth that would survive such an onslaught? I’m actually amazed that the NO vote was as high as 37.9% after what I have seen.”

    Eat that!

    1. To quote John Stewart: “You’re confusing tyranny with losing.” I live in Dublin, the liberal heartland of the country and the NO side had two posters up for every YES one. They were absolutely flush with cash and that was overwhelmingly American money (how would Americans feel if foreigners tried to influence that election to such a degree?). Media neutrality was rigidly enforced, presenters could not even make mention of their own personal preference on air. The Gardai were not drafted in to support the Yes vote. That is a lie. Many Gardai did support the Yes campaign as did many butchers, bakers, candlestick makers and even clergy. The No side had no support because it had no support. Because its arguments were hollow, hypocritical and in defiance of common sense and basic decency. Because we saw through your bullshit. That is why you lost. Eat that.

  6. I did hear the news, and thought of your comments on it on your blog. Glad to know things went this well!

    And as a Canadian, I must apologize for the people from my country who tried to donate money to help people suppress their fellow citizens. Glad that wasn’t enough. Also, another day of justice delivered by Batman! That’s got to be one of the coolest poll posters I’ve seen in a while.

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