Irish Vote for Same Sex Marriage Blacked Out in Cuba

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The Irish voted overwhelmingly to approve same-sex marriage. photo: newsfisher.io

HAVANA TIMES – Ireland has overwhelmingly passed the legalization of homosexual marriage, according to the recount of the referendum held on Friday, showing 62.1 percent of the votes in favor and 37.9 percent against, reported dpa news.

Thus far, Cuba’s official media such as Cubadebate, Granma and Juventud Rebelde have not mentioned the vote. Despite efforts by Mariela Castro daughter of President Raul Castro, in favor of gay unions, Cuba’s leaders have always been against equal legal rights for all Cubans.

On Friday, Ireland became the first country to approve same sex marriage by popular vote. Since 2011 gay and lesbian couples could seal civil unions, similar to what happens in some other countries, but these were not matched with marriage rights or protection of the family.

The recount began at 0800 GMT on Saturday and just two hours later, David Quinn, one of the staunchest defenders of traditional marriage conceded defeat. “Congratulations to the “Yes” campaign. Well done,” he said.

“Obviously there is some disappointment, but I also see the results with a lot of philosophy,” said the head of the movement opposing the measure.

The scenes of jubilation in front of Dublin Castle increased as the crowd listened to the results being transmitted on a giant screen located outside the tabulation center.

Senator David Norris, one of the key figures in the decriminalization of homosexuality in the 1990s, praised the outcome.

“I think at the end of the day gay people are equal in this country. I think it’s wonderful,” he told RTE news.

“It’s a little late for me. I spent so much time pushing the boat that I forgot to get on and now it is already out of the harbor, at sea, but it is very nice to see,” said the veteran activist who appeared before the European Court of Human rights in 1988, leading to the reform of the law banning homosexuality in 1993.

The government of Prime Minister Enda Kenny widely supported the adoption of the law and praised the high turnout. I voted yes, “tweeted Kenny on Friday, something unthinkable a few years ago from an Irish prime minister.

From a gay pride day in Dublin.  File photo: wikipedia.org
From a gay pride day in Dublin. File photo: wikipedia.org

Some 60,000 new voters were registered specifically for this vote. There were even many young people who traveled to the country from abroad to go to the polls, as Irish law does not allow voting by mail.

“This is a great day for Ireland,” said Health Minister Leo Varadkar, who made his homosexuality public in January.

“For me personally this is not just a referendum, but a social revolution,” Varadkar said about a country where until 1993 homosexual relationships were considered a criminal offense.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald noted that Ireland “sends a great message to the world” and pledged to turn the vote into a reality in the coming months.

Grainne Healy, spokeswoman of “Yes Equality”, a group that campaigned for same-sex marriage, said: “It’s an extraordinary day.”

“We hit the streets, not to tell people to vote Yes. We went out saying that we would vote yes and we would like to explain why. That’s how the campaign began and that’s how it worked,” Healy said.

Several international celebrities joined in the congratulations. “Oscar (Wilde) is smiling in his grave,” tweeted British actor and director Stephen Fry.

“It’s great to see the people of Ireland voting to live in a country where everyone is treated equally,” wrote British entrepreneur Richard Branson.

Meanwhile, Dr. Louise Gilligan accepted the proposal of her wife Senator Katherine Zappone on live TV and asked her to remarry in this “new Ireland.”

However, independent Senator Ronan Mullen, who campaigned against gay marriage, said he was disappointed by the change in the Constitution saying it could have some negative effects.

The Catholic Church, which has great influence in the country, had campaigned hard against the measure. The organization “Mothers and Fathers Matter” conceded defeat. “Today’s result was made possible by the government, which made a number of promises about surrogacy, adoption and other things. Many voters believed them, now they have to comply”.

In turn, the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin told RTE that the Catholic Church needs a “reality check.”


17 thoughts on “Irish Vote for Same Sex Marriage Blacked Out in Cuba

  • May 27, 2015 at 1:42 pm
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    Do please provide an example?

  • May 27, 2015 at 9:25 am
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    It seems Carlyle, that you have left out the part were a corporation or other group can form a third party group and launch an unlimited expensive campaign on an issue or against a candidate as long as it is not connected to any candidate. So there realy is no limit on expenses through third parties.

  • May 25, 2015 at 11:30 pm
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    Wow I can’t believe that some people still defending what is undefendeble. That cool aid you drank was effective

  • May 25, 2015 at 6:42 pm
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    Mr. Goodrich you state:
    ‘A multi-party system always winds up with a leadership that will determine policy and not the electorate no less than Cuba’s one-party system does.”
    Once again you demonstrate that you have no knowledge of multi-party systems, but only of the US two party system.
    In Canada – which lies north of most of the US, the political parties hold policy conventions for members and the policies are numbered and available in booklet form. Each constituency in the country can put forward up to three policies – anything from health to sport to taxation. Once the process is complete, the Members of Parliament belonging to that party are bound by the determined policies. So imagine that Mr. John Goodrich has a concept or seeks amendment of existing policy, the road is open for him to do so through the party of his choice. Another very important factor is funding for the parties. In Canada by law, an entity or person can contribute a maximum of $1,200 per calendar year to a political party. That is law and is supervised by the Elections Commission. If Mr. John Goodrich sends a cheque for $1,200 to the New Democratic Party (left wing) in say March and then in November attends an NDP fund raising function at a charge of say $100 of which $40 is for food and $60 is a political contribution, the NDP would be obliged to send him a cheque for $60.
    There is no difference if a company – let us say EXXON is involved. The same limit applies – ie: $1,200.
    So there are ways of avoiding the obscene system of the US where companies can and do, contribute many millions of dollars to whichever party – Republican or Democratic, that they seek to influence. I would be the first to agree that the US Constitution and political system requires an overhaul. But with all its faults, there is some degree of choice – in Cuba there is none.
    Our candidates are selected by vote by the all the party members in the constituency – and party membership can be purchased for $5. As a consequence I know of people having membership in two or more parties.
    Your mind is apparently so influenced by the US system that you cannot recognise that others have a better one.
    In October there will be an election in Canada – and one Party will win fairly, whichever it is.
    In Cuba there has note been a government elected in free vote by the people for over sixty years. One despot was succeeded by another. How fortunate we are in being able to discuss our differences publicly without fear of being imprisoned for doing so. Freedom is a pearl without price and I wish to see the people of Cuba able to experience it! Is your hand up for freedom? A simple yes or no suffices.

  • May 25, 2015 at 2:50 pm
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    Mr. Goodrich finds it essential to ramble on about the sins errors and omissions of the Governments of the United States – probably because he has no experience of those of other countries. To him there are a bunch of theoretical concepts which he uses to try to explain that the Castro family regime and the Communist Party of Cuba are not as they claim to be and alternatively that the two party system of the United States is a capitalist plot. Being an American and subject to its laws and political policies is to him a misfortune. He seeks a Utopia in which he, holding the hand of Noel Chomsky can recognise true socialism. But his frustration appears to be that he knows that he isn’t going to find it this side of the pearly gates.
    So many of his comments are so far away from the realities of Cuba under the Castro family regime that it does help as you indicate to open the door to explanations of actual facts by responding to his frequently erroneous comments. I have to recognise that some of his comments are a consequence of his lack of experience within Cuba itself and it is evident that he is dependent upon what he reads in left wing academic journals.

  • May 25, 2015 at 2:27 pm
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    Well for the viewers that must have been a relief as normally they are subjected daily – sometimes even hourly to the endless harangues of Nicholas Maduro, trying to persuade the people that the now over 50% inflation rate in Venezuela is a consequence of “neo-liberal plots” rather than being a consequence of the “socialist” policies he inherited from Hugo Chavez, who in turn learned them when sitting at the knee of his adoptive “father” one Fidel Castro.

  • May 25, 2015 at 10:47 am
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    A multi-party electoral system always winds up with a leadership that will determine policy and not the electorate no less than Cuba’s one-party system does.
    Again, in the case of the USA, the very wealthy vet the candidates, choose the one who will play ball with them and then tell the respective parties that candidate and that candidate alone will receive their backing without which no candidate can win.
    After the “election” those candidates act in behalf of their big financial backers and the USA is essentially an ” unelected dictatorship of money ”
    It is a dictatorship nonetheless and as such while acceptable to totalitarians, it is totally unacceptable to ( small “d” democrats.
    I do not doubt that on the ballots you observed , all candidates were members of the PCC . Again, those interested in serving the country would tend to be in the PCC just as those interested in serving in US government would be members of the Democratic or Republican Parties.
    In either case the result is a top-down non-democratic system .
    In free enterprise capitalism, the decisions are made by rich private individuals or boards.
    In state capitalist Cuba those decisions are made by elected officials.
    On paper and in practice, the goods and services produced by each society are more evenly distributed in state capitalist Cuba than they are in the free enterprise USA which has always been the USA’s problem with Cuba and any of the other 70 social movements
    into which the GOUSA has intervened .
    On anarchy, and not surprisingly, you really do not display a grasp of the principles , time frames and conditions under which an anarchist society has existed and will exist inn the future.
    Suffice to say that it centers on direct democracy in every aspect of human life which most people have no desire for having been indoctrinated throughout life to not only tolerate and prefer totalitarian systems but to actually believe that they are democratic in nature to wit.
    Religion -absolutely totalitarian
    Oligarchic US government-absolute dictatorship of money
    Free enterprise capitalism-your boss is your own personal dictator
    The traditional male-dominated nuclear family .
    You give lip service to democratic ideals while all the while practicing and worshipping all the totalitarian forms that make your lip service to democracy a bad joke.

  • May 25, 2015 at 9:01 am
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    It seems that John will simply not be swayed by any argument we put forward about the realities of Cuban life, even though we have seen those realities up close. His unchanging views of the Cuban regime show quite clearly how it’s nearly impossible to change someone’s mind on a politically charged or contentious issue. (See my previous comment in the Havana Times story, “If Cubans Vould Choose Their Own Heros”)

    Like those parents who believe that vaccinations cause autism, despite all the medical literature showing the contrary, or evangelicals who believe that evolution is not real, despite the overwhelming evidence, John will simply not accept the reality of Cuban life, a reality that conflicts with his belief system. And despite all our efforts we are unlikely to change his mind.

    I do think we should continue to respond to his political postings, if only so that those readers of Havana Times unfamiliar with the reality of Cuban life and Cuban history get to read about another perspective.

  • May 25, 2015 at 8:30 am
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    The reality of Cuban municipal elections differs from the propaganda you continue to swallow and regurgitate. CDR approval is required before a would-be candidate is deemed fit to stand for election. Lacking PCC membership, let alone holding anti-Castro views, is used as a disqualifier to discourage nonconforming candidates.

  • May 25, 2015 at 8:11 am
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    I was responding to the post.

  • May 25, 2015 at 8:10 am
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    Telesur, as you well know, is edited before being shown in Cuba because even that Venezuelan government mouthpiece brodcasts more information that the Cubsn regime feels comfortable with.

    I don’t personally know if any information about the Irish vote on same sex marage has appeared on any Cuban news outlets. But I accept this article at face value. Why don’t you?

  • May 24, 2015 at 9:56 pm
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    Mr. Goodrich, once again you are demonstrating an innocence of he reality in Cuba. Records are retained and utilised by the regime. To nominate a non-party member would be recorded in the CDR file of the person doing so and similarly so would the seconder. The reality is that all the candidates are Party members.
    Thank you for appreciating that I am pro-democracy, it just so happens that I am also a non-believer in a religious sense, but being a tolerant man, I do not deplore those who are religious but am happy for them as their beliefs give them solace. Politically a long time ago prior to immigrating to Canada I was asked to enter national politics in the UK. I refused being clean shaven and said that as I had to look myself in the eye in the mirror evry morning, I couldn’t enter politics because I couldn’t accept the party whip which could involve voting for something with which I did not agree. However, that does not stop me for having proper respect for many of those who do enter national politics. Society requires Government – although I understand that view is in conflict with your own.
    I recall asking an anarchist on one occasion, how he would get a road built from Edmonton, Alberta to Calgary if there were no government. his response was that he would get a group of people together and do it. I then enquired where he would get the money to pay for his endeavor and he responded that he would just go out and collect it. My immediate response was: “Not from me.”
    Much of the discussion that takes place on the pages of Havana Times is about government and in particular of the Castro family regime ‘Socialismo” system. . My view as you will have gathered, is that the single party communist system (which you describe as “state capitalism” is an evil and that with all its faults the multi-party democratic system is the best yet devised.
    There were municipal elections this spring in Cuba when I was there. I made a point of going to the municipal offices to read the information put forward by each candidate in seeking to win a seat. They were all remarkably similar – and every single one was a member of the Communist Party of Cuba,

  • May 24, 2015 at 7:51 pm
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    Agent Moses, once again you and other people shoot off your mouths to condem Cuba without researching. There was no blackout you can see it on Telesur May 24th in world news that there is an article about the vote and Telesur is widely watched all over Cuba.

  • May 24, 2015 at 6:48 pm
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    In any municipal election in Cuba , ANYONE can be nominated by any other voter in the district , seconded by one other person and then that person REGARDLESS OF WHETHER HE OR SHE IS A MEMBER OF THE PCC becomes an official candidate .
    Only about 15 percent of Cubans belong to the PCC and being inclined to be active politically, these party members serve in government in much higher percentages than their percentages in the general population purely for that reason alone.
    It’s good that you are pro-democracy so long as it does not attempt to include or justify totalitarian capitalism, religion, oligarchic government in the process.

  • May 24, 2015 at 2:04 pm
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    The Castro family regime power and control is a consequence of denying the citizens of Cuba free votes. Cubans can vote for any candidate providing that the candidate is a member of the Communist Party of Cuba. The vote in Ireland was held in order to enable the Government of Ireland to introduce a Bill which was already prepared – the Government wanted to ensure that it had the support of the people. That is a free democratic approach which is anathema to the Castros. Imagine if Mariela persuaded Papa to allow a free vote in Cuba – doing so would introduce the concept of the people being allowed to express their view. Imagine that in Castros Cuba!

  • May 24, 2015 at 12:40 pm
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    Travel restrictions are fewer now. I would expect Raul to be fine with those gays that want to marry to freely immigrate to Ireland.

  • May 24, 2015 at 10:50 am
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    There are few communities more technologically adept at communication than the gay community. I have no doubt that the Cuban gay community and all of their families and friends are or soon will be aware of this news. To impose a new blackout in an effort to keep Cubans uninformed only makes the Castros look even more like the dinosaurs they are.

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