Gays at last are getting people off their back, and in one of the few government initiatives I’m supporting along with wind farms, I’m happy to be behind the equality referendum. I say thank God and thank you to the gays for reminding us what marriage and life is all about, the commitment of two people for life to each other and the raising o children. The latter is a bone of contention I will address as I see it later on, and the former we lost in the understandable knee jerk reaction we had to the church and all it preached for in the wake of the clerical abuse scandals.
Traditionally, gays have had a reputation for promiscuity, and the spread of disease as a result, according to the stereotype. Yet, here we have them telling us to give them the right to marriage and life as it should be, as we should be, committed to one person, not sleeping around, and for life. That is something we can learn from gay people, its not all about sex in public toilets with random strangers and such, which a lot of straight folk are as guilty of if not more, or while its normal nightclubs as opposed to parks and public lavatories, the whole “getting laid” scene is exactly that, in the foolish hope that all of a sudden one of these folk we’re shagging is going to be the one we want to spend our lives with, and even more remote that they will feel that way about us!
The parades of the Pride movement did nothing to change the stereotypes, with lads dressed in leather and all sorts of kinky fetish gear making them look weird, dangerous and dirty, what was never seen is what should have been seen and maybe someday will be seen, a parade of normal people, just of the same sex, dancing with each other, holding hands, and kissing, being in love like straight people.
That is real pride.
As Unity Hall used to write in the News of the World, “so what is one gentle mothers son loves another gentle mothers son?”
The role of the media in gauging public opinion and inciting and responding to public opinion is also crucial. I remember the News of the World and The Sun shaming Tory ministers and MP’s for being gay, and now they are to the forefront of liberation as its fashionable and profitable. If the mood swung against gay people – and I hope this never happens – they would be at the front of the baying crowd again, as thats what makes money for them and thats the only moral important to them.
They had none of the issues a lot of people have at the doorsteps, from rational folk to the woman who scattered holy water on Sarah Clancey here in Galway that she wrote of only this morning.
Now – to address the issues. Some folk don’t want gay marriage as its an assault on traditional marriage. Well, gay folk wont marry straight any more, which means marriages wont break down where there is one partner secretly gay, so if anything it will strengthen heterosexual marriage in my opinion.
Another thing folk object to, and this is one of the more understandable – and this is the problem folk have with David Norris, Rodger Casement, and Oscar Wilde, is the “love that dare not speak its name”, the so called love of an older man for a youth, which is bordering on under age. I believe in equality – and gays should be under the same social norms as straight people, and if a 41 year old man would be locked up for seducing a 14 year old girl as is right and proper, so should a gay man for doing the same to a youth of similar age. Equal under the law is true equality. 17 is the age of consent – so at 17 no matter the age of the person the youth is involved with if the other person is older than the youth, there is nothing wrong with it, but younger there is, for both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. I don’t know is that a feature of lesbian relationships, but it seems to be of the male variety.
They should not have kids, as kids need a mother and a father – on paper seems reasonable enough, but on closer examination is not. How many families does this apply to today? Will gay adoption change that figure overnight? Nope it wont, and there are a lot of families where the male figure is not the biological father of all or any of the children, and even where they are they are not involved, and where they are the relationship is often abusive.
The same as if two gay people adopt children.
Some fear the potential for abuse, and this I respect and reject in equal measure. Respect as is its well intentioned, and reject as in its stupid and that those who advance it would be the first to defend clerical sex abusers as they are men of the cloth. There are pedophiles among gay people, and there are among straight people. We only have to look at the Roscommon case to see that, and a nun defending the “right of the family” above the welfare of the children. Well she will be in for an education when she dies and reaches the Pearly Gates!
I mean, just look at Elton John and David Furnish. No one suggests they are a risk to their adopted kids, and I hope I never have to eat these words and if I do have to I will do so humbly, and I think that they are the perfect role model for gay marriage.
In a society which is so hung up on “getting laid”, on promiscuity, on boasting of how many conquests you have had, and that has convinced women to be as bad as fellahs for this, it is great to see a body wrongly accused of what society itself is guilty of today since the 60’s – and this Third Wave Feminism movement is guilty of spreading – that a body such as the gay right movement can show us what love is.
Let us learn from them and practice it.
It is a unique prohibition of the Abrahamic faiths that prohibits homosexuality, as opposed to indigenous societies where they often were shamen or similar, in native America cultures known as “Two Spirit”, once again, us who think ourselves better and advanced have to learn from those who we personally may not but as a society do look down on or patronise at best.
I’m First Wave Feminist myself, I was taught by my mother, a proponent of contraception but not abortion, of respect for women not abuse of them for a guys sexual kicks (and using a girl for sex and moving on to the next is a form of abuse though society tells us its normal, it is a form of misogyny), of a womans right to work outside the home as well as her right and choice to stay within it should she choose to do so, a bag of political tricks that has left me on the fringes of the left wing politics in the past few years which blew up spectacularly in my face this time last year with the Boobgate fiasco.
I dont have much verse written on the topic, as its a topic that shouldnt be one, and in time hopefully will not be one, but just part of society as any other relationship should be, but one I have written is “Jumping the Broom”
I have family and friends who are gay, and am proud in solidarity with them to call for a YES vote, and will give fair dues to Enda Kenny – though I still oppose him on water and property taxes! – for bringing this to ballot on his watch. Here is hoping for a YES vote in May!
One artist I admire greatly is a extremely hot, and genuinely nice girl Catherina Behan from Kerry, and her poem “Pride and Patriotism” explains it from her standpoint here:
You meet a lot of gay folk in the arts world, and though I may have a higher opinion of myself as a poet than posterity will allow to my name, the only reason it is seemingly more common in the arts world is that the arts world is more open.
I worked with a guy in a factory years back. He was one of the boys, popular with the ladies and great craic, Dead sound. The kind of guy any lad would want to be, to have his easy way in life. The fact I was the geeky guy at the corner of the crowd was never a problem for him, to spite him being cool he treated me as if I was the hardest fecker among them all.
He got married, and the marriage ended. We all though he was shagging around, being very much “the man”. The factory folded, and we all lost contact. One day in the Bridge Centre in Tullamore I met one of our colleagues who asked me how things were. We talked of the craic in the factory and this man came up in the conversation. I was rooted to the spot as I was told “You didn’t here about him? He is in Cork, living up with a fellow!” I was stunned as didn’t expect it and immediately was delighted for him, as he was happy, as was the chap I was chatting to.
Though strange yet somehow it made sense.
For him, and for all the others, Im proud to be in the yes camp.