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Humanitarian Justicialism and its Critics in Action

We will be watching and collecting some of those news that are relevant for our letter-writing efforts. Through these efforts we will hopefully be generating some news of our own.


“Risky” referendum in Ireland unrepeatable this time

Media all over Europe are campaigning for a EU-wide extension of the institution of marriage to homosexuality in terms of an “equal right to marriage”. From the point of view of popular sovereignty it is good news that the people of Ireland were asked to vote about this. An institution like marriage can only be extended if everybody, not just the beneficiaries of the extension, agrees, because marriage is an institution involving ritual, religion and a contract with society at large, which is involved because of its interest in fostering a stable environment for reproduction. Unfortunately that is not how the leading European “human rights” campaigners think. For them the referendum was a “risky” enterprise, as some said, because they don’t really believe that people should have a right to vote on a “human right”. According to this dominant view, “marriage” is some kind of resource that the state dispenses to individuals, and therefore must be equally dispensed to each individual. Moreover, from the perspective of the EU’s internal market, it is important to have the same rules everywhere in Europe. Therefore, unlike a previous Irish referendum, this one will not be repeated. The next step of the EU human rights lobby will be to institute the “equal right to marriage” as an unnegotiatable part of European treaties, subject only to judicial developments.

It is to be doubted to what extent the vote was really in favor of extending the institution of marriage. The Irish people were not offered a choice between “equal right to marriage” (French “marriage for all”) and a special homosexual life partnership as instituted in some countries like Germany and Italy. Many voters probably just felt that the Irish state of affairs should be somehow changed in favour of the homosexuals, and they were under the strong moral pressure of a unisono campaign in favour of “equal rights”, which was all the more difficult to resist, as the extension of the marriage concept, wrong though it may be, is unlikely to directly cause any substantial or unrecoverable losses to anyone.

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