Gay Marriage Referendum (RELS 348)

Manabendranath Roy (M N Roy) was a Marxist intellectualist from India in the 1900’s. During his time in prison, he wrote on many issues, one of which was the issue of sexual politics. M N Roy believed that sexual politics was being used as a form of oppression, and was therefore a political problem. The sexual instinct comes from some force located in the depth of an individual, and could not be repressed nor denied by an individual without severe consequences. According to M N Roy these consequences ranged from incest to murder. M N Roy saw repression of sexual urges as an issue that was occurring world-wide. As M N Roy was a Marxist he believed that a Marxist revolution would end male dominance and allow females their sexual freedom, thereby stopping the repression caused by sexual politics. The resulting utopia would be a place where all could “Taste the joy of life, and their natural love of life will no longer be camouflaged in all sorts of religious superstition.” In other words it would be a place where every individual would be able to follow their natural sexual urges without having to fear social conventions. Admittedly M N Roy is only discussing heterosexual relationships, but if we apply the same theory to LGBTQ relationships we see many parallels between his thoughts and the thoughts presented in Una Mullally’s article “The gay marriage referendum is a watershed marriage in Irish History,” The Guardian, 27 February 2015.

Una Mullally’s article reveals that come May a referendum will be help in Ireland about equal marriage status between LGBTQ marriages and more traditional marriages. Una Mullally reports that this is very important to LGBTQ rights activists world-wide as it is the first time the public will vote on this issue. Like M N Roy, the pro side of the debate believe that the sexuality of LGBTQ members is being used as a form of repression, denying LGBTQ individuals the same level of rights as other citizens . Therefore, the equality of marriage is a political issue. The belief in the oppression of LGBTQ citizens can be assumed due to the fact that there is a referendum occurring.

The opposition is primarily made up of the Catholic church and small lobby groups. According to Una Mullally the strategy of the opposition is to make the issue about ideology, such as religion of the Catholic Church, instead of a civil rights issue. If this tactic proves successful it would deny the claim that the sexuality of LGBTQ citizens is being used as a form of oppression. If there is no civil rights violation against people who are LGBTQ partnerships, then they are not being oppressed due to their sexual orientation.

As previously stated M N Roy believed that people should be able to follow their sexual urges and not be oppressed by them. Perhaps this referendum shall be the next step in realizing his utopia, or perhaps not. Whatever the end result, we shall have to wait until May to find out.

KV 348


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