"But as a husband, I was a sanctioned tyrant"
May 21, 2015 6:09 AM Subscribe
It is worth remembering that the things that were changed were ancient, hallowed traditions, sanctioned by time and religion and social practice. My right to rape my wife was part of common law – it had long seemed perfectly obvious and “natural” that the question of consent to sex simply didn’t arise in a marriage. (In many parts of the world, indeed, this still seems “natural”.) The idea that a wife was not a legally or economically separate person but a mere adjunct to her husband had very deep roots. Within my lifetime, even minimal changes to this idea were bitterly opposed.Marriage was nothing to be proud of in 1983. On the eve of the Irish vote on marriage equality, Fintan O’Toole puts into context the change it will make to the "sanctitity" of marriage, by reflecting on the changes marriage in Ireland had already undergone since his own marriage in 1983. Tomorrow the Republic of Ireland will hold a referendum on Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution (Marriage Equality) Bill 2015, which if passed would make gay marriage available.
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments