As the Marriage Equality Referendum gets closer and closer, the more I'm hearing people in the "No" camp on telly and radio talking about how many of the people I hold dear in my life do not deserve equal protections for themselves and their families under civil law.
This week I watched the documentary, A Case Against 8. It is a beautiful film about the United States Supreme Court case to strike down Proposition 8 in California, which defined marriage as between "one man and one woman" only (thus annulling thousands of previously recognised marriages across the state). In the Case Against 8, help came in the unlikeliest of forms when Ted Olsen, George W. Bush's attorney in Bush v. Gore in 2000, decided to take on the case. He was highly regarded as one of the strongest conservative attorneys in the country, and he got a ton of flack from both sides for taking this on.
Countless hours of research and a whole wall of notebooks went into this case, but the most important messages that came from it were the personal stories from the plaintiffs; one couple had 4 children together and wanted to be legally recognised as a family, while the other were a young couple who wanted to start a family.
While much of the film was very heartwarming, I found it so scary how eerily similar the arguments against marriage equality were in the States as they are in Ireland now. The rhetoric is nearly identical to what's been said (not to mention disproved) about LGBT people and their families for the past 30 years with only very slight variation. It's as if they've taken pages straight from right-wing America's play-book and are trying to apply it here. I would encourage you all to watch the film if you can, preferably with someone who is on the fence about how they'll vote next month.
You can get a download of it over on Volta.