Not very surprisingly, as the debate on the 22 May marriage equality referendum rages on, and messages compete, many of them totally disingenuous (such as the NO campaign highlighting the role of mothers and thus essentialising women’s caring and nurturing gender roles as if men cannot be caring and nurturing), one voice has been left out: LGBTQ people of colour and people from the migrant communities are not represented or visibly included in the YES campaign. It is as though they don’t exist, reflecting not merely the exclusion and discrimination of LGBT people in Irish society, but also of LGBT minorities in mainstream queer culture. However, this referendum is crucial to the migrant justice movement.
As Luke Bhuka, founder member of the Anti Racism Network Ireland (ARN), a group committed to supporting the YES vote, says: ‘The debate to date, and in particular the YES campaign, has been totally white and single-issued at the expense of a full representation of queerness in Ireland, which includes gay and lesbian migrants and refugees’. Read more