The Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) congratulates Ireland for becoming the first country to move to marriage equality via a popular vote.
With voter turnout at extremely high levels, including expatriate citizens flying home just to vote, and a resounding 62% voting in favour of equality, Ireland has set an example for the rest of the world to catch up with – including Australia.
AFA President Michael Boyd commented that this strong endorsement was achieved in the face of a concerted campaign against the proposal, with the Catholic Church at the centre:
"Historically, Ireland has been a deeply Catholic nation. The comprehensive rejection of the 'No' case, which was spearheaded by those religious interests, represents a massive loss for the Church and demonstrates their gross over-estimation of their own importance and influence.
If a nation like Ireland can so emphatically discard and disregard religious indoctrination and scare campaigns to achieve marriage equality… there's hope that Australia can follow suit, one day soon".
At least the majority on the "No" side had the good grace to accept the Irish people's verdict and to congratulate the "Yes" campaign on the monumental achievement. Unlike the Australian Christian Lobby, whose media response was disappointing and insensitive for its churlishness, pretense that "Australia [is] different" from Ireland, and predictable resort to slippery-slope fallacies, misrepresenting the basics of the "Yes" case and elevating so-called "freedom of religious conscience" above equal rights for other human beings.
Most importantly, our congratulations to a wonderful group of Irish family members, friends, neighbours, work colleagues and people – who at long last will have the same right to marry the person they love, that everyone else takes for granted. Australians deserve no less, and the AFA calls on all sides of politics to move beyond pandering to narrow religious interests and proceed towards marriage equality here.
Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc
PO Box 1062
Lane Cove NSW 1595
Phone: (08) 8835 2269
Email: [email protected]