Thursday, 15 July 2010

Short Memories?

Just a quick rant on the latest development on equal rights in Latin America :) Sorry I haven't had time to make more detailed / researched blogs.

No matter what level you took on your History studies to, you will (in Ireland I mean) at some point have come across the penal laws, restricting the rights of Catholics (and Presbyterians) on the island. The restrictions encompassed almost every aspect of life - socially, politically, economically etc. The struggle for equal rights has been long, and hard, and is still ongoing, although thankfully our equal platform politically now affords us the ability to campaign for these rights. This campaign has expanded as we recognise the need for equal rights regardless not only of religious affiliation, but also gender, age, and most specifically for this blog post, sexual orientation.

It saddens me, and angers me, to consider that despite the persecution and rights restrictions suffered by our ancestors essentially for something that was in their heart, it is the same Catholic community (ed - that's unfair, it is some members of that same community) that is one of the main opponents of equal rights for those of a homosexual orientation due to something essentially held in their heart.

But today I am struck with hope. The Vatican holds the same level of influence over Argentina as it does on this island. Yet nationwide they have recognised and legalised the equal right of same-sex couples to be married. Along with this comes equal rights to adopt children desperately needing a loving home, equal social security rights, equal rights with regards to time off work due to family issues, and so on.

This is a Great day for Freedom. A Great day for Equality. A Great day for hope.

How long now until we join the enlightened societies around the world? How long until we recognise the hypocrisy of 'Freedom OF Religion' in the absence of 'Freedom FROM Religion'?

How long until we entirely reject the notion of a theocratic state in favour of secularism and democracy? (ed, political jibe - even republicism?)

How long until we grant these rights that the majority of Irish people believe in? All the latest polls, particularly in the 26 counties, are in support of equality in this instance.

Moreover, beyond marriage, consider some of the other ridiculous infringements on LGBT rights. The most blatant case, in my opinion, is a ban on blood donation from men who have sex with other men! This is downright discriminatory, not only against sexual orientation, but it is also sexism in the extreme. I wonder would these hypocrites who enforced that ban reject 'gay blood' themselves if they were in dire need.

The hypocrisy does not end there. In the 26 counties, it is illegal for a gay couple to adopt. However it is perfectly fine for a single gay person to apply or for only one of the partners to do so. These children need loving homes, not this bureaucratic hypocrisy.

Slowly but surely, equality for the gay community is being achieved. I hope it is not long until full equality is reached. I believe that appreciation for the rights which I enjoy should be coupled with a demand that others different from me achieve these rights also; this is my basis for supporting equality and freedom.

Well done to Argentina. Much of the world looks on in pride & awe.

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