Sunday, March 07, 2004


Crooked Timber comparing (and finding much similarity in) the controversies over Irish divorces and U.S. same-sex marriages:
The rhetoric of the Irish divorce debate (legalized in 1995) is strikingly similar to what we're hearing today about gay marriage in the United States
in terms of sheer pressure on the social order, the legalization of divorce is a much more serious event than the prospect of gay marriage. Civil divorce reconfigures property rights, redistributes assets and income, creates a multiplicity of new kin ties and makes one of the most important life choices much more open-ended for everyone. And on each of these dimensions, legalizing divorce directly and indirectly affects far more people than legalizing gay marriage.
In comments:
as I remember the 1986 referendum on divorce, it failed largely because of fears among the farming community about inheritance rights. The worry (whipped up by the anti crowd) was that after a divorce, the ungrateful, interloping ex-wife would get half the farm. And there is no force as conservative as a threatened land-owner.
via same thread, account of a documentary on Irish antidivorce activist group:
The result was a fascinating documentary which brought Scully to public prominence for the first time, and which ended with one of the most memorable lines in recent Irish television history. It was Una Bean Nic Mhathuna's count day retort to a pro-divorce activist: he and his colleagues were nothing more than ''a bunch of wife-swapping sodomites''.

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