Calling it early - the marriage equality referendum has passed


Its already clear (23 May, 10am) that the referendum has been passed, that there has been a Yes vote across the country, its now only a question of how big. We won't know the answer to that for hours.

We are confident with this call because not only are huge Yes tally being reported from Dublin (as high as 3:1) but very large Yes votes are also being reported from some rural boxes. There are others that are 50:50 or even thought to be slightly No but its clear these No's hope to counteract the huge Yes's from the cities, never mind the significant Yes votes that appear to have happened in many rural areas. Areas that voted against divorce are showing significant Yes votes.

This is looking like a huge defeat for the dark bigoted forces that once held Ireland in their grasp. Their long regime of fear is ending.

But as we said in advance of the referendum
"Slogans such as ‘Equality for everyone’ and ‘treating everyone equally’ are completely meaningless when put forward by political parties who have no interest in pursuing the concept of true equality.

We know that the economic policies pursued by the parties using those slogans have visited untold hardship on working class communities since the foundation of the state. We know that economic inequality is greater than it ever was.

We also know that asylum seekers forced to endure direct provision, women forced to travel abroad for abortions, Travellers forced to live in substandard accommodation, homeless forced to live on the streets because of lack of investment in social housing and many, many other groups will still be victims of and unequal society after this referendum is over.

But without buying the bullshit we can still recognise that a Yes vote in the referendum will be a defeat for the most reactionary elements of society, and will make a real appreciable difference in the lives of many people.

A victory in the referendum can hopefully be the spur which will lead on to further victories. It could give confidence to those pursuing the repeal of the anti-woman 8th amendment of the constitution and fighting for access to free, safe and legal abortion for women in Ireland.

A victory in this referendum can make more people question the real meaning of 'equality' and will hopefully encourage more people to join the fight for social and economic equality for all."

WORDS: Andrew Flood (Follow Andrew on Twitter )