Reeling in the Years has viewers in tears as it relives Marriage Equality referendum

On the week of the sixth anniversary since the Marriage Equality referendum, Reeling in the Years reminded us of the pain and joy of the campaign.

Crowds of people hugging

Sunday’s episode of Reeling in the Years had the nation in bits as an emotional episode was capped off with the Marriage Equality referendum.

The sixth episode of the current series took us back to the not-so-distant past of 2015. It was a difficult episode that reminded us of the horrific Carrickmines halting site fire, the Berkley balcony tragedy, as well as the terrible Paris terror attacks.

It was during the final segment that the memories of the 22nd May 2015 came flooding back. The pain, joy and commitment that went into the gruelling campaign, the indignity of having to ask the majority for the rights of a minority, and the unbridled happiness when it was achieved.

“I was in no way prepared for the Marriage Equality segment on #ReelingInTheYears. I’m in tatters,” Gogglebox’s John Sullivan wrote on Twitter. “I’ll never forget Newstalk calling it at 9:40am, screaming at my friend that WE WON and just breaking down crying on the stairs.”

Another user commented: “Ireland being the first country in the world to pass Equal Marriage by popular vote is hands down this country’s finest moment in my lifetime.”

For others it also stirred up some of the tough memories of the campaign as we saw clips of the infamous debates and the ‘No’ side’s disgusting posters that went up on lampposts across the country.

“I will never forgive the No campaign for those horrible posters that implied those in a same-sex relationship couldn’t be parents. #ReelingInTheYears,” @ronronzo said on Twitter.

We at GCN would also have loved to see Reeling in the Years acknowledge the momentous Gender Recognition Act which came into force in 2015 and was a vital moment in the country’s LGBTQ+ history. It allowed a citizen of Ireland to legally change their gender on government documents through self-determination. Ireland was one of only four countries in the world to allow this at the time.

However, the scenes in Dublin Castle where campaigners such as David Norris and Ann Louise Gilligan and thousands of others got to rejoice in the history they had just made will never fail to move us.

As the sixth anniversary of the referendum occurs later this week, it is also important to remember that full equality has not yet been achieved in Ireland. Many LGBTQ+ parents still do not have their parenthood legally recognised. The fight for equality continues in 2021.

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.