Ireland is now the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage. The nascent and acceptance of the LGBT community in Ireland that has historically been predominantly religious (Catholic), is prescience of growth of secularism as well as the inexorable decline of the church. This vote has essentially ossified the struggle of the LGBT community to have the same rights as heterosexual couples.
The struggle of the LGBT community in recent history is analogous to the struggle of other sections of the working class, most notably, women’s struggle for equal pay. Inherent in Capitalism’s mode of production and appropriation of social wealth is the domination of labour (through the removal of access to means of production as well as industrial reserve army). Further, another insidious tool for the suppression of labour and wages is the creation of divisions within the working class through differential rights and freedoms based on gender, ethnicity, race, geographical location and sexual orientation. “Property rights”, which is sacrosanct to the capitalism mode of production has always been unquestioned. It is only working-class rights that are opened to a vote: only in capitalism is one’s fundamental human rights open to a vote.
Ruminating on recent history one can see a clear pattern emerging from the working class struggle against capital. The working-class has been fighting for labour reforms that has partially debased and defunct (in developed capitalist states) capitalism’s ability to create division in the working-class movement. Today working-class consciousness considers itself entitled to human rights to social provisions such as education, healthcare, shelter, and against discriminatory practices based on gender and sexual orientation. Also, today’s working class militates strongly against any laws passed by the state that may be deleterious to its struggle for equality. In short, working-class struggle, in relation to its latent struggle for the share of social wealth against capital, partly manifests itself in the form of human rights and equality. The climax of this struggle will be the human right to access social wealth and use values, without the exploitation of labour during production (freedom from wage slavery). Ultimately, the working-class struggle in history can be construed in three words: struggle for equality.
Successful campaigns of the LGBT community cannot be circumscribed outside of a direct criticism and blow towards the church. The very existence of the LGBT community augments towards the decline of a church and every step forward in LGBT rights thereafter only undermines the church’s odious legitimacy in society. Further, any actions or statements that the church makes will only put itself in an invidious position against the working-class. The legitimacy that the church assiduously built over several centuries, is now completely dissolving as the working-class trudges forward towards a secular society.
Finally, LGBT right to marriage has been placed on a referendum conveniently when the Irish economy is struggling. No doubt the Irish economy requires the facelift to attract tourists’ dollars to pull itself out of the economic crisis. Interestingly capitalist state uses its monopoly to change and introduce laws when it benefits the market. In this case, it gave the LGBT community their “rights” when it suited its purpose. The myriad number of people that went to vote at the referendum underscored the progressive working-class social consciousness and the hunger of the working-class to engage in politics that capital has taken away, and reduced to a single modicum vote.