Ireland – To be or not to be – Tolerant or Intolerant – that is the question!
The forthcoming same-sex marriage referendum in the Republic of Ireland on May 22nd faces Ireland with the question of whether or not it will be a tolerant or intolerant society. From a popular viewpoint, the belief is that allowing same sex marriage will make Ireland more tolerant. Saying, “No”, it is believed, will leave it an intolerant society.
However, by voting, “Yes”, could it be that Ireland will become a more intolerant society? Evidence from those places where same-sex marriage has been allowed would indicate that a ‘Yes’ vote in the referendum would move Ireland in a very intolerant direction
Legislation, for example in the UK and some States in the US, has been introduced to force co-operation from those who cannot conscientiously agree that same sex marriage is best for society, marriage, and children. Public servants such as civil registrars and judges are sacked for refusing to implement the new ‘tolerance’. Parents are investigated for questioning new ‘educational’ material on sex and the family, promoted in schools by gay activist groups. Businesses are heavily fined for failing to promote the new political morality. And State aid is removed from all voluntary groups who cannot conscientiously agree to the dictates of a new political agenda. Is that the kind of Ireland the people of the Irish Republic really want – punitively intolerant of any view except the state’s?
Some Irish people may believe that voting ‘Yes’ in the referendum will make Ireland a more tolerant society. But, in fact, a more probable outcome, is that a ‘Yes’ vote will help fashion an Irish society more intolerant of tolerating the views of those who dissent from the mainstream. For these reasons, it seems to me that the future of a truly tolerant, compassionate Irish society is better secured by a ‘No’ than by a ‘Yes’ vote.