I was raised in rural Ireland where we always called a spade a spade and people who were outgoing, friendly and happy were said to be 'gay'. Around the 1970s, homosexuals hijacked that word as if their 'lifestyle' were something special. I wish to thank the unionist MLAs in Stormont for voting against same-sex marriage.
Something tells me your correspondent isn't afraid of an unexpected legal paradox arising, but rather he wants to further stigmatise homosexuals for not being 'married' in the 'traditional' sense. Perhaps we should help him come up with a name for same-sex unions.
Barry_Doherty: My concern isn't really confined to this preoccupation with what other people do with their bodies in the context of a committed loving relationship. What I fail to get my head around is why similar (or greater) ire isn't directed to issues that affect us all – unemployment, healthcare and elder care, to name but a few examples.
OX38655: It's for the same reason that the pervert with the shoelace camera was most-read for a day-and-a-half, followed by something about Katie Holmes, now replaced by the girls' topless fight outside the school in Limerick. These are, of course, the most important issues. But throw a gay issue into the mix and the same people who are so quick to click on those stories find themselves enraged – by what goes on in their own minds.
One_More_Thing: This is an excellent question and I have heard it answered before. For example, the Republican Party in America realised that, if they wanted to keep the Christian Right onboard they would have to base their party platform on social, not economic issues. If they win on these issues, the real economic policies they desire will not be touched.