Irish Senator David Norris is a controversial politician who is often called the father of Ireland’s gay rights campaign spanning the past forty years. He is seventy years old and yesterday he lived long enough to see his nation become the first country to vote in a national referendum to support legalizing same-sex marriage. 1.2 million people voted yes with fewer than 750,000 voting no. That officially makes it a landslide of 62.1%. Senator Norris had a few words for us while he celebrated:
“The people in this small island off the western coast of Europe
have said to the rest of the world:
This is what it is to be decent, to be civilized,
and to be tolerant!
And let the rest of the world catch up!”
In 1993 Ireland was the last European Union country to remove the laws that made homosexual activities illegal, but in what is now being called a social revolution, it is the first to take a stand on the right side of history for fairness and equal treatment of all of its citizens. To put this in religious context, “The last shall be first, and the first shall be last.”
I am a negative nabob about cyberspace, or as my friend Curtis told me he heard an older woman call it the “interweb,” but I have to say I much prefer a revolution fueled by social media like texting and tweeting to one achieved by guns and drones.
Knock knock, who’s there?
I’m hoping it’s the Supremes in a few weeks on this side of the pond.
Tomorrow is Memorial Day for us in the United States. It ‘s a time when we remember the sacrifices made by so many in our military families to preserve not only our own freedom and borders but to also defend the rights of freedom lovers around the world. I doubt there is a family in America that hasn’t been touched by military service.
I know my father believed he fought in WWII for those he loved – and for values that included guarantees of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We are a nation that struggles to define and implement those values, but we have an opportunity to make a major statement that will open doors very soon as our Supreme Court renders an opinion that will affect equal treatment for all citizens in who we love and choose to marry.
Ireland has set the example – now is the time for America to catch up.