We are so close. And yet we could be so far away. Equality is knocking on Ireland’s door and I’m praying it will be heard. This week I interviewed a prominent LGBT+ campaigner from Ireland and because it was a pre-referendum interview with a post-result publication date I had to ask two questions about the Same-Sex Marriage Referendum result in Ireland.
One question expressed my congratulations and asked just what it meant now Ireland had embraced change whilst the second shared heartfelt and dismayed commiserations, enquiring just how the campaign for LGBT equality in Ireland fights on after defeat. The difference in the two answers really got to me, the lump in my throat growing as I transcribed the joy and relief in the first and the despair and dejection in the second. For me the two answers taken together illustrated just how fine the line between the freedom and oppression, acceptance and, yes, homophobia can be.
Ireland is so close today to crossing that line and every fibre in my body is hoping for a yes, for common sense and respect of others to win the day. Because if our close neighbours can make the leap to full LGBTQI equality then there’s only a few steps more for us to take together to convince other nations across the globe to do so to.
So today, unlike when we play them at rugby, I’m willing Ireland over the line. Here’s hoping Ireland’s yes spurs us on to demand equality in the 81 countries where homosexuality is criminalised. Here’s hoping Ireland finally score a winner for equality.