Males over 50 are most likely to vote no in the upcoming marriage referendum.
A statistic that I am finding is bearing out on the doorstep. While the majority of people that I meet are voting Yes the ‘NOs’ do tend to be older males.
While it is wise to simply move on from the door of a firm ‘NO’. Fool that I am I feel compelled to chat a while with men in this age-group who are non-committal but whom I suspect are planning to vote no. Maybe it’s the psychologist in me but I genuinely want to understand why they, as a group, are voting no.
One great-grandfather told me that asking someone his age (almost 90) to vote for change is a very big deal. I suggested that he must have experienced considerable change over his lifetime and that surely he could recognise how change leads to progress.
He thought for a moment and said he remembered the shock he experienced as a young man seeing a blonde woman walking hand-in-hand with a black man in Dublin.
He also told me that during the war lights went out at 9pm. Looking out the window one bright evening he recalled his utter horror at seeing a young woman in trousers.
We both smiled at this and I left heartened by our conversation and hopeful that he will embrace change to create a more inclusive society for his great-grandchildren.