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LGBTI Persons in Ireland Suffering from Campaign Against Gay Marriage Referendum

(Blogmensgo, gay blog of October 16, 2016) What were the effects of the campaign against the referendum of May 22, 2015 on gay marriage in Ireland? A first statistical evaluation by the two academics Sharon Dane and Liz Short tries to give some answers. If there were a new campaign about such a referendum, 54.5% of the participants would not be in favor of it anymore. Apparently, younger LGBTI people were more mortified than their predecessors.

Swimming with Sharks

Negative effects of the campaign against the referendum. ©uq.edu.au.

The Australian-Irish study was published in two parts. The first one, published on October 7, 2016, focuses on the negative effects of the campaign on the Irish referendum. The other part, not yet published, will look at the few positive effects.

The posters, brochures and radio spots used during the campaign had negative effects on almost all respondents. A majority of them indicated that they were shocked and frightened by the pictures and messages from the homophobic camp.

Children and LGBTI persons in rural areas suffered particularly from those negative effects.

Older people (55 years and older) were affected particularly strongly by the campaign against same-sex marriage.

LGBTI persons were particularly bothered by the latent homophobia present in the campaign of the opponents of a referendum, but also by their omnipresence, hypocrisy, hatred and open and unpunished discrimination.

A large number of the interviewees (almost 36%) would hate to relive again the difficult times before the referendum.

Methodology: The study called Swimming with sharks: The negative social and psychological impacts of Ireland’s marriage equality referendum “No” campaign is based on the answers of 1657 respondents in Ireland. It was carried out online and anonymously between September 15 and 25, 2016.

The study was lead by the two academics Sharon Dane (University of Queensland) and Liz Short (University of Victoria) in cooperation with Irish researcher Grainne Healy, as well as, two Irish NGOs (National LGBT Federation and BelonG To) and two Australian NGOs (PFLAG and Rainbow Families Victoria).

Comment: It is a known fact that holding a referendum on gay marriage opens the door to discrimination and hatred. A decision by parliamentarian vote or in a legal way is usually a better option.

People in Australia are thinking about a referendum on this subject, much like in Ireland, which is why people in Australia are interested in this at the moment. We will look at that in a tomorrow's article.

Frank-S / MensGo
Main source: The Guardian, October 8, 2016.

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