Everyone in Ireland is delighted that the Marriage Equality referendum campaign has come to an end. All of the campaigning has managed to get under our skin. We are all exhausted and tired of it. For the most part the No side of the national discussion has put up a dismal attempt at winning people over to its side, and much of its tactics have been offensive to say the least. This is not to say that the Yes side has always been a source of pride. Like a great many straight people in the country I have a good many gay friends, but knowing gay people and having gay family members are not the only reasons I decided to vote Yes in the referendum. It was never much of a choice for me, and I would like to think that even if I had no gay friends I would have still voted the way that I did. All of this is a simple matter of human rights, and I believe that we aren’t voting for ‘gay marriage’ – we are voting for ‘marriage.’ Now we have a chance in Ireland to show the world that we have come of age, and that we have made significant strides towards overcoming what has frequently been quite a dark and terrifying past.

I cast my vote at the polling station in Harold’s Cross, Dublin 6, at about seven o’clock this evening and I felt rather emotional doing it. It was something good and powerful and empowering that I did – that we all did. Walking home I felt like crying and I don’t really know why. Perhaps it was the awareness of past wrongs and the injustice of a reality where people I know and love don’t have the same freedoms I enjoy. All that I know was that it was a powerful and meaningful experience. Now we are all left in the limbo of not knowing. We do not yet know what the rest of the country voted, and my fear is that maybe we haven’t gotten over the darkness of the past, and I am afraid. To tell you the truth I don’t really want to face a No vote. As a Scottish Nationalist living in Ireland I don’t think that I can bear two such No votes in less than twelve months. It will be the end of me. Why the hell do I allow myself to be so invested in these things? Wouldn’t life be just dandy if I didn’t care? No, I think the world would be a little worse for it. Good night.

Jason Michael
Blog Author


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