Marriage Equality – Vote Yes on May 22nd  

I grew up in the 1970s and 80s at times it was a dark and lonely place to grow up as a Gay Man it was full of fear , anger and still under a society of catholic church rule. Homosexuality was a criminal act , it was a love that dare not speak its name. The expectations where that I would grow up get married and have kids or enter religious life. if I am to be honest I considered both but I wasn’t being true and honest to myself. over many years I had to listen to the church saying that homosexuality ”is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder” That hurts me as a Human being and a gay man. In 1993 Homosexuality was decimalized. It is hard to believe 22 years ago I was a criminal in Ireland because of my Gender.  It took me a long time to come to terms with who I am , I was born this way. I now live with my partner for 16 years. I am elected as an Independent Councillor in the Clondalkin area and very involved in the area and the community. I am the same as everyone else I deserve the same rights , responsibilities and opportunities as everyone else. I am much more than just a Gay man I am a Human being an uncle , a brother , a partner , a cousin , a nephew etc. I contribute to society as an elected public representative and a social care worker. Every LGBT person deserves to be treated equally. Imagine the message that it would send out to the thousands of people that come out every year and others that are struggling to accept their sexuality that its ok to be Gay and you matter and you are equal. To the Thousands that grew up in a society that condemned them it would send out a clear message that we are all equal. This Referendum is about Civil Marriage and nothing more. It is not about church marriage. It is also not about surrogacy , adoption , fostering or parenting. The Children and Family relationship bill was passed this year and those issues are dealt with through that legislation. On May 22nd I ask that you vote yes , I ask that when I hear the result that I am as equal as all other adults in Ireland.  I am not asking for extra rights as a citizen just equal rights. As we approach the centenary of the 1916 rising and the proclamation I ask you to think on the line ”..Cherish all the children of the nation equally”. On May 22nd we have the ability to make this a reality for many gay Human beings like me and a Yes vote will give thousands more the same equality.