I’m Voting Yes

For as long as I can remember I have been politically minded.  I couldn’t wait to vote and I remember debating and arguing my side of the Nice Treaty even though I wasn’t yet old enough to cast my vote.  I was delighted when I got to participate in my first election.  I’ve always found it strange that some people don’t bother voting.  I feel that it is a privilege.  This referendum, however, means so much more than selecting a particular party.  It is beyond the realm of politics as it is about social equality and I really hope that everyone, even those that don’t usually vote go out and but an X beside Tá.

Although I have always gotten involved in elections, this one certainly means the most to me.  Some people question why when I’m not gay.  They wonder how it directly impacts me.  It does so because I believe in equality.  I would canvas the same way for any human rights issue.  To me it is so simple, it is about letting two people that are in love marry each other.  How does that cause any negativity in any of our lives?  Isn’t love a good and positive thing?  Shouldn’t it be celebrated?

I don’t understand how any person can deny someone the right to marry or deny someone happiness.  How dare any individual think they should make that decision?  It makes my blood boil when I hear the no arguments.  I try to respect the opinions of others but I honestly can’t in this case.  I have never ever heard one single valid no argument.  I think their stance is disgusting.  Their blatant attempt at parent manipulation is disgraceful.   Blathering on about surrogacy and other such nonsense to me shows that there is absolutely nothing valid to be contributed to their campaign.  They don’t have any decent points.  The referendum is nothing to do with parenting or surrogacy.  I personally don’t see that surrogacy is that bad a thing anyway and I also don’t believe that there is a direct correlation between people wanting to marry and having children.  Many people want to marry and start a family and that’s fine.  Many, including me, do not want to marry in order to start a family and that’s also fine.  The no side rant and rave and pose the question what about the children?  Indeed, what about them?  What about children that may have the opportunity to grow up in a more equal society of acceptance?  What about the children who will become our future gay generation?  Aren’t they the only children that will be impacted by a yes vote?  By voting yes aren’t we in fact protecting children and allowing them to be part of a fairer society?

I don’t believe that the idea of a child having a mother and father has anything at all to do with the referendum but seeing as I’m already sharing my true and honest opinion I might as well state that I don’t believe that children should only have a mother and father.  I believe that children should grow up with love; that’s the most important thing.  I think by using the mother and father argument it diminishes so many parents and families in our societies.  I know people that have grown up in one parent families and they are no different.  I know people that have grown up with two mothers and they are no different.  I also know people that have grown up with a mother and father and have not necessarily experienced love or what is considered to be “normal”, traditional, family values.  None of us can say what constitutes as the ideal family but what we do know is that love is the most important ingredient in it.

I don’t believe love discriminates and I don’t believe any of us should either.  I don’t believe that by bringing in marriage equality the lives of any of the rest of us will dramatically change.  If the two guys next door get married that won’t have any impact on your marriage.  If the woman in your office marries her girlfriend that also won’t make any difference to your marriage.  It won’t de-value it in any possible way.  If one doesn’t like the idea of gay marriage simply close your front door, mind your business and go back to your own life but don’t deny the right to marry to another.  How would any of us feel if we were told that society had decided we weren’t entitled to marry?

From the time I was four years old I went to a convent school.  I stayed in a convent until I was 18.  Whilst I in no way claim to be a religious expert, I attended a lot of religion and prayer classes during my education.  I was told that God is love.  That God made the world and all of us are made in his own image.  If God is love than shouldn’t all Christians respect this love and vote in favour of same sex marriage?  I am only bringing up the God argument because of groups like the Iona Institute who firmly believe that they are spreading the word of God.  The only thing they are actually spreading is hatred and hypocrisy.  I heard a radio interview this week with a priest stating that we all need to examine the implications of passing this referendum.  He stated that there are serious implications and listed the children again and again.  The only implications I can see are that we will be one step closer to a more fair and equal society.  That is a positive implication.  I would, however, like to add that I have the utmost respect for devout catholics and indeed priests that have spoken out in favour of the referendum.  Fair play to you lads!

I can’t stress enough how important it is to vote yes on the 22nd of May.  Everyone in this country should have the right to marry and the right to be accepted.  I will continue to wear my Yes Equality t-shirt.  I will continue to wear my Yes Equality badge.  I will keep my I’m voting Yes stickers on my car and front door.  I will keep my Pride flag at the front of my house.  As I said love does not discriminate, none of should either.