Just a few more days and I’d say both sides are by now happy when the whole process is over. But it ain’t over yet and I am not allowed to vote on it so I will blatantly use this platform to tell you what my opinion is about this whole issue. And it might surprise you to hear that I changed my opinion some months back!

I grew up in a village in Germany and all people around where I grew up were white, so I never experienced “tolerance” or “equality” in that respect. I had no clue what g ay people are, but there was one thing in my village that I was very aware of. That elephant in the room was RELIGION! There were Catholic people and Protestant people in our village. And there was a catholic choir and a protestant choir and catholic farmers would sell land only to other catholic farmers and the same on the protestant side. There was no discrimination in the form of bad behaviour towards each other, but people had their preferences and lived by them, so the boundaries were clearly defined. Odd you think? And I thought so too!

The separation NEVER made sense to me despite the fact that my catholic parents also clearly lived by these unwritten rules. My mother separated from a boyfriend because in their opinion there was no chance that they could get married because he was Protestant!! Imagine! And that wasn’t in the stone ages, that was in the early 60s.

Now where am I going with that? There are a number of aspects to it. First of all, to most of us this religion based separation sounds totally crazy to us nowadays because we have moved on and the second aspect: From early on I realised that arbitrary boundaries don’t make sense. But I also learned why people are soooo much against tolerance and equality: They are afraid!! Afraid that there world would be turned upside down, that they might be told do do something they don’t want to do. That they might have to change.

Interestingly and importantly though, this referendum does not require anybody to change!! No straight man (or woman) will ever be forced to marry another straight man or woman! So people relax! No need to start panicking when you think about two women or two men loving and caring about each other!

And in my opinion that is what this referendum is about: Allowing two people who feel strongly for each other to be there for each other in ALL aspects.

This referendum will NOT change how people might or might not behave in their bedroom (or elsewhere), it will not force anybody to do anything against their will AND it will have no impact on adoptions or surrogacy. So forget that straight away.

Vote YES and allow these two people to love each other if they want or just care for each other into high age and in all aspects.

In the intro I said that I changed my opinion, so what is that all about?

I was never against Marriage Equality, but I have to admit that I don’t like the term “marriage” for a civil union of two people and initially I was of the opinion that the Civil Partnership was already there, so why do we need a Marriage Equality Referendum?! But then I found here www.marriagequality.ie/getinformed/mythbusters.html that currently there are 160 differences between the rights of two people who are married vs the rights of two people in a civil partnership. That was the decider. Either you have full rights or you don’t.

I still would prefer if we changed some significant aspects of the marriage procedures, but that’s not really relevant for this referendum: All marriages should take place in a registry office and then afterwards people can opt to get married in a church if they want. The church should not be allowed to stand in for the state, instead the two procedures should bee totally separated. But as I said, that is not really relevant in this referendum. Mind you, I hope the catholic church will refuse to do the civil marriage part after the referendum!

So, if I was allowed to vote, I would vote YES! If you are allowed to vote, please vote for me!!!