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

  • Wow I can’t believe that some people still defending what is undefendeble. That cool aid you drank was effective

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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