After a poll taken in Ireland this week showed that 66% of adults would support same sex marriage if it came to a referendum, the Irish Voice undertook their own random survey to ascertain whether Irish people living in New York would support same sex marriages.
We found that close to 50 of 65 the adults surveyed would indeed support the movement.
Support for same sex marriages has grown considerably in both the US and Ireland in recent years, with US President Barack Obama and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore both declaring their support in recent months.
Maria Reilly, living in Manhattan, is in complete support of same sex marriages, stating that gay people can be just as devoted to each other and so should be allowed express that.
‘If two people are in love and they want to be there for each other forever then it should be the same as any marriage. What does it have to do with anyone anyway? The only difference is their sex life.’
Kerri B, undocumented and living in the Bronx, concurs with this and states that the sooner it is accepted and out in the open, the sooner people will shed their reservations.
‘I am so for it. I think if everyone just shut up about it, it won’t even be an issue anymore. They will just get used to it like everything else.’
Stephen L, also undocumented and working in Manhattan, states that his opinion has changed after living in New York.
‘If you asked me a few years ago I would have said no, but my eyes have been opened living here, I suppose. I’m friends with gay people, some are couples, and they seem as devoted to each other as straight couples.’
Orlagh Reilly, living in Queens and working in Manhattan, also supports same sex marriage and also cites her encounters with gay people as the main reason for this.
‘I had mixed views about it and have been thinking alot about it recently as I’ve had a few encounters with gay people over here and to be honest if they love each other, why not commit fully to each other and get married?’
Jarlath Moloney, living in Harlem and working in media design, feels that a civil partnership should suffice for gay people as they basically have the same rights, surmising that a same sex marriage would not be recognised by the church anyway.
‘Obviously they cannot get married in the Catholic sense. A priest or Christian will never see them as truly married in that sense but if they want to align themselves to each other in the eyes of the state then that’s their right. But I don’t think it’s necessary given the existence of a civil partnership. They have all the same rights.’
Jessica T, undocumented and living in Brooklyn, agrees with this stance and claims that the 2010 civil partnership act should be as far as gay people can go in the eyes of the state.
‘Marriage is marriage. It’s a man and a woman and I think it should be respected. I think the laws were stretched and very flexible to include a law that would allow same sex couples to have a lot of similar rights to married couples and that’s fine, that’s great but marriage is a different thing altogether.’
Geraldine Munnelly, living in Brooklyn, disagrees with this however, and feels that the only way to have a completely tolerant society in the future is to give same sex couples the exact same rights as heterosexual couples, including marriage.
‘It needs to be made normal so that it is accepted sooner rather than later I think. Like, leaving it taboo and having them fight for reform could impact on any children that a gay couple may adopt. They could be the best parents in the world but have a child that is bullied in school because their parents are so ‘different.’
But if it becomes more accepted and normal now there shouldn’t be as many problems in the future as there is nothing left to fight and argue for. Gay people are allowed marry and that’s that.’