Wednesday 7 December 2016

Family is the bedrock of society and I want to be a part of it

Colm Tóibín

Published 02/05/2015 | 02:30

Echoing the current debate in Ireland, this photograph show demonstrations outside the US Supreme Court in Washington this week, where arguments were heard as to whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed in the United States. A final decision on the matter is expected in June. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Getty Images
Echoing the current debate in Ireland, this photograph show demonstrations outside the US Supreme Court in Washington this week, where arguments were heard as to whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed in the United States. A final decision on the matter is expected in June. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

Twenty-five years ago, when I was working for a Dublin newspaper, we decided to do a telephone poll about national support for gay marriage. The questions we drafted were the normal ones you would expect. The last one, however, was unusual, and the response to it told us more about changing Ireland and growing tolerance and support for other people's rights here than all the other questions.

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The last question was: "If a member of your family was getting married to their gay partner and they were having a party to celebrate, would you go to the party?"

The vast majority said that they would attend the party. There was not much difference between the response from older people and younger people, or rural people or people from the cities.

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