Wednesday, May 20, 2015

What Roots are under the Grass? Analysis of the Irish Referendum on Gay Marriage



On Friday, the 22nd of May, the Irish citizens will vote in a referendum aimed at amending the Irish Constitution so as to redefine marriage as being between any of two persons, regardless of their sex. The promoters for the redefinition of marriage, are introducing the referendum as a grass root movement. The media mentions that no less than 80% of the Irish citizens will vote in the referendum for such an amendment in the constitution. It is proudly announced that the big majority for a YES vote would mark the first time that same-sex marriage legalization would be legalized by popular vote.  This would also “mark yet another defeat for the Catholic church and the political power it used to wield in Ireland” (trying to unjustly frame marriage as a catholic and not a societal issue)

However, increasing concerns have been raised by the question whether this is a “home-grown phenomenon” or rather a more carefully-orchestrated and massively well-funded assault on the natural family coming from private American funding. This Monday, MEP Marek Jurek, former Speaker of the Polish Parliament , has intervened in the European Parliament’s plenary session to express his concerns on this matter. He emphasized that “free elections are not merely the fair vote count. Free elections, first and foremost, means that electoral campaign must be fair. The same stands–even more so – for referendum”.  

He also sent a letter to the Chair of the European Parliament, Martin Schultz (supported by three members of the ECPM, Beatrix von Storch, Arne Gericke and Branislav Skripek and two other MEPs: Kazimierz Ujazdowski and Edouard Ferrand) showing their concern that “the integrity of the Irish referendum has been seriously compromised” and that “this attitude to democracy is contradictory to core values of the European Union”