The people of Ireland voted in large numbers for Equality we have moved a long step away from the dark days of being LGBT in Ireland. We no longer have to hide and being Gay is no longer the love that dare not be named. When I was growing up it was hard to be gay in Ireland. In May 2015 Ireland made history. I am overjoyed that so many voted yes and delivered equality for a minority group in Ireland. I proposed to my partner on the historic day and he said yes. I look forward to celebrating our life together with friends and family. We are over 16 years together and he has been my rock my strength and my best friend. I am delighted that we can now at last have that love recognized in civil marriage.

As much as I am so overjoyed I also acknowledge that the struggle for civil rights in other parts of the world is ongoing and I give the shoulder of solidarity to my brothers and sisters in places like Russia and Uganda where the laws need to be changed. Also to Northern Ireland where my LGBT Family are not as equal in law as the rest of Ireland. I hope for a future where no child has to hide their sexuality and where no person feels that suicide is there only option.

Ireland has sent out a very clear message that all LGBT people are equal there is no room in our new society for homophobia. I am so delighted that as we approach 1916 the line in our proclamation that says ‘’cherish all the children of the nation equally’’ has become more of a reality. I am very proud to be Irish and very proud that we are the first country in the world to bring in same sex marriage by referendum. The people have spoken and they have said yes to Love and equality.