The video that shows the absurdity of asking the Irish people to vote on marriage equality

How would you feel if you had to ask 4 million people for permission to get married?

Click to follow
The Independent Online

An Irish advert promoting marriage equality that was released six years ago shows the absurdity of the recent referendum, in which 62 per cent of voters said 'yes' to equal marriage rights for all.

The video, which was made by Marriage Equality, a not-for-profit advocacy group for extending equal marriage rights to everyone, was released in August 2009, long before the referendum was put on the table, and before the 2010 act that permitted civil partnerships in Irish law was passed.

Called 'Sinead's Hand', the video shows a nervous man approaching a grand house, knocking on the door, and asking the man who answers for Sinead's hand in marriage.

When the man says yes, he sets off to the next house, where he asks the same question.

The video shows him travelling all across the country, asking everyone he meets whether he can have Sinead's hand in marriage.

The advert finishes by asking the viewer: "How would you feel if you had to ask 4 million people for permission to get married?"

Much of the 'yes' campaign in Ireland before the referendum involved trying to persuade voters that allowing gay marriage would not affect the welfare of children, or the institution of marriage.


The decision to hold a referendum on equal marriage was criticised by some at the time it was announced - some legal experts said that the change could be made through a simple act of parliament.

However Alan Shatter, the Minister for Justice and Equality and a supporter of the 'yes' vote, said that it was established in Irish law that marriage was between a man and a woman, and a referendum on making an amendment to the constitution should go ahead.

Saturday's referendum passed with a resounding 'yes', and minutes after the result was announced, a Limerick woman got down on one knee and proposed to her girlfriend, Billie Stoica.