This far, and no further

May 19, 2015 | Opinions

This was originally posted on Facebook, seeing as it’s a personal thing, but I’m going to post it here as well for the sake of completeness.

There is a speech by Picard from Star Trek: First Contact that’s stayed with me ever since I saw the movie, years ago, in the cinema. It goes like this:

“We’ve made too many compromises already; too many retreats. They invade our space and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn HERE! This far, no further!”

Since the start of the Irish marriage referendum drama, I’ve been thinking about the line. Every time someone says “they’re entitled to their opinion”, I think about the line. Every time equal space is given to the Yes and the No sides, I think about the line. Every time a clergyman preaches barely veiled homophobia, I think about the line.

And I feel the most incandescent, irrational rage, that this – this utter LUNACY – is where my country has fallen.

This referendum is already an insult to the LGBT community, who should not have to go begging, cap in hand, to the population at large for their rights. The No side has used every possible argument to demean Irish families who don’t fit their nice little Catholic-approved mould of one mother, one father, and their many children; their homophobia runs so deep that they’d throw single parents under a bus to keep LGBT people out of marriage. The Church is guilty of the most rank hypocrisy by saying anything at all about marriage, morals, and “think of the children!” Its history proves beyond a doubt that it cares nothing for Irish children, and it’d ruin every family in the country for the sake of power.

I say… we have made too many compromises, by allowing evil to have a voice equal to that of good. Letting LGBT people marry is good, for them, for their children, and for Ireland. Denying them this is yet another evil fuelled, at its core, by religious bigotry.

We do not have to entertain the opinions, arguments and feelings of those who would treat Irish men and women so shamefully. We do not have to give homophobes a platform in the name of fairness. There IS NO FAIRNESS here. The No campaign has used lies, trickery and appeals to emotion to protect their central belief; that LGBT people are the alien Other. The worst that will happen to them, if the referendum passes, is that they will finally have their belief challenged. Giving LGBT people’s relationships the validation and protection of the law on equal footing to that of heterosexual people is far more important than their pitiful existential crises.

On Friday, the line will be drawn again. It must be drawn here – this far, and NO FURTHER. If we can’t do this much, this one small gesture of good, then we have to admit that Ireland is indeed rotten to the core – rotten with corruption, gombeen tribalism, creeping religious conservatism, and hypocrisy, that chews up lives and spits them out wholesale, and our only hope is to emigrate and escape.

I am begging you, get out there and vote Yes. Vote even if you think it’ll make no difference. Vote even if you’ve lost hope. Vote for all of us who’ve already left with broken hearts.