Irish eyes are smiling at you

Timothy Kincaid

September 15th, 2010

From Ireland Today:

Just over two-thirds of people (67 per cent) believe gay couples should be allowed to marry, according to an Irish Times /Behaviour Attitudes social poll.

In addition showing strong support for gay marriage, a significant majority (60 per cent) also believe civil partnerships for gay couples will not undermine the institution of marriage. A large majority (91 per cent) also say they would not think less of a person if they revealed they were gay or lesbian.

If I translate that correctly, there is some percentage who support marriage for same sex couple because they fear the civil partnerships undermine the institution. Personally, I think there is merit in that argument.

Ireland’s civil partnerships law become effective in January and politicians are already planning ahead for full marriage equality. I wonder if the Pope is noticing the same correlation as the rest of us?


September 15th, 2010

I’m really struck by the fact that 91% of the Irish polled would not think less of a gay or lesbian person. I don’t think (heterosexual) Americans would poll that high if they were asked the same question….

Ben in Oakland

September 15th, 2010

Absolute merit in that belief.

If marriage is the gold standard for society, why are lesser standards of fidelity and commitment and family being raised up?

I understand that in France, where pact civiles are available, more and more straight people are getting them because it has most of the benefits and far fewer of the responsibilities of marriage. I remember reading an article that actually gave some statistics on it.


September 15th, 2010

Ben, I read an article about the French unions too. I got the impression that many young heterosexual couples were choosing the lesser form of marriage as a temporary way to get all the benefits without the “real” commitment of marriage. It seems French heterosexuals who are co-habiting but aren’t ready for marriage, is the reason why those unions are on the rise as oppose to marriage. So, many don’t really see it as an equivalent to marriage.

Other Fred in the UK

September 16th, 2010

The results of the Irish poll are so supportive, that I wonder if it was in some way biased? On the other hand the Irish Times is a reputable newspaper. Even if true Irish public opinion is not quite as supportive as the poll suggests, the overall picture is still very positive.

French PACS were never intended to be equivalent to marriage. They were intended to give cohabiting couples, both opposite-sex and same-sex, certain legal rights. As far as I am aware (please correct me if I am wrong) full equality for same-sex couples, as in Belgium, or almost full equality, as in the U.K., has never received serious political consideration in France.


September 16th, 2010

Somebody please call the organizers of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston and tell them their homeland doesn’t support their exclusion of gays and lesbians from their parade.


September 22nd, 2010

While this is good news, keep in mind that it doesn’t necessarily mean that gay people are better off in Ireland than in other countries. I would say that homophobia is still very much the norm here – sure, people might support gay marriage and claim not to think less of gay people, but they’ll do it while spouting homophobic ‘jokes’ and insults every other sentence. It really is shocking to see the two attitudes running parallel with each other.

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