It's about Equality

On May 22nd, Ireland will vote in a referendum that chooses whether to pass and legalise gay marriage.  By now, you will have seen numerous articles, press releases and statements from public figures preaching the importance of this up and coming referendum. I am not one for being serious.  I am a firm believer in taking the Mick out of situations in order to lessen the emotional burden of the harder parts of life.  This topic however is very close to my heart. So I will try.  All I want to do is tell you my point of view. If you vote, which side you choose, is up to you. 

What are you saying yes too?

There seems to be a great deal of confusion as to what this vote will actually mean.  I want to break it down.   Saying yes, means you want to give equal right to those born homosexual as those heterosexual in regards to whether they can get married. Personally speaking, I am a 27 year old man. Just like the majority of my friends, I have no idea if I will ever get married. The difference between me and my friends is that they have the choice at the moment and I do not.  This is what it comes down to.  Everyone deserves the choice. Everyone deserves equality.

Are the children effected?

Smear campaigns choose to tarnish the yes campaign in the so called name of the children.  There tactic is no more than scare mongering and in honesty is more harmful to our children than anything else.  Mary McAleese former president of the republic of Ireland was recently quoted stating my exact feelings on this referendum. 

“What we both feel very strongly is, particularly as we approach 2016, that this is – it is a debate about children, people have been saying it’s about children – and we believe it to be about Ireland’s gay children and about their future and about the kind of future we want for Ireland. We want, in the words of the proclamation: ‘The children of a nation to be cherished equally"- Mary MAcleese 2015

During my childhood, I always knew I was different. It’s a cliche, to describe it this way, but there you go its how I felt. Different.  As I began to grow up, the feeling of being different became a big factor in my life.  I didn’t understand why I was different, but it was something I felt.  Society and culture, told me that boys were to like girls that this was normal.  Anything else was considered abnormal.  It is difficult to describe the all consuming dread you feel. Looking back, what I lacked as a child was an example of an LGBT home as it was discriminated against and the law didn’t account for it.  If I had that to look up too, I wonder if I would of felt differently.   I never want any child to feel this way.  The one thing the opposition have right is that the vote is about the children.   It’s about ensuring they know that they are accepted for who they are, by all those around them including their government. 

What has this got to do with me?

Personally speaking, politics is not something I was very fond of and growing up only begrudgingly took the encouragement from my father to register to vote. Of course now I am glad of the persistence as I wouldn’t be able to have my say if not.  Recently this struck a cord with me. The result of this vote will directly affect my life.  Never have I felt the need to vote so much. Prior to this referendum, I had the view that none of it affected me, somehow my say wouldn’t make a difference so what was the point. Many people who are not directly affected by the up and coming referendum may feel the same way; what has this got to do with me? The reality is, if you are a citizen of Ireland, this vote will affect you.  It will affect, your neighbours, your friends, future children, Teachers and Doctors. It will effect how the world sees Ireland as a Country which effects economic growth and tourism. It will effect the world view of the progression of its people and how they treat their citizens. 

This vote is about acceptance.  Accepting that homosexuality is not a choice.  People are born with a sexuality and no matter which one, they are equal in the eyes of the law as well as society.   I am not foolish enough to believe this vote will change the world and suddenly homophobia will die a pitiful death over night, I do however believe this is a strong step towards that world. This vote is about prevention.  Reducing homophobic attacks and the rise in teenage suicide. This vote is about education.  Educating our public on equality, and not creating a class system amongst sexualities. This vote is about our children. The children to come.  Preparing for their future to make it a safer culture to grow up with love and acceptance.  This vote is about equality. We are all equal in the eyes of each other and the law.

So for those that think this vote is just about whether a member of the LGBT community can rush to buy a suit and have a ceremony to wed one day, think again. It’s about so much more.  On the 22nd of May Ireland will vote on a referendum which will determine if we pass Gay Marriage in Ireland. I will be flying home to part take.  Vote. I urge you to vote.  If anything I have said has struck any kind of truth with you, Vote Yes.


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