On May 22nd 2015 the people of Ireland will take to the poles and cast their vote on marriage equality in our state.
This is a long time coming and I have felt the urge to blog about this for the longest time but just unsure from which angle so I'm just going to speak to you from the heart.
Currently in this country same sex married couples don't have the same rights as heterosexual married couples. What does this mean for same sex couples? Where do our rights fall short? In a lot of areas in fact. I'm going to speak hypothetically to you now. If I was to marry my beloved, why would my marriage be different to others? In 2010 the government set the ball rolling for civil partnerships and in 2011 the first ceremonies took place. A civil partnership does not give the same rights as a marriage certificate. The list of differences is quite long. But I'll go through with you the ones that hit close to home.
Lets start with children. The no campaigners seem to be using children as a way to encourage people to vote no with slogans such as 'surrocacy, she needs her mother for life not just for 9 months vote no'. So at the moment the state does not allow a legal relationship with both same sex parents and the child, only the biological one and because the state doesn't recognise a civil partnerships home as a family home but rather a shared home, this creates many limitations and has many implications also. One main implication being the death of the biological parent. If this was to happen the other parent would have no legal rights to their child and could quite possibly loose their child, circumstances depending. When we get marriage equality this will eliminate this and both parents will be recognised as legal guardians. A family home, at the moment is defined in the states eyes as a home with a married heterosexual couple at the helm and gives more rights to that home if ever it got into difficulty. This is not the case for a shared home and if for some reason a shared home with a same sex couple at the helm got into difficulty it may have many implications for the dependent children living in the home.
I find the no vote campaigners using children as a way of encouraging the people of Ireland to vote no the most frustrating. This is what makes my heart sink. I don't know if I want kids, YET. But I know I'll make a damn good parent and I've got the proof- I am legal guardian to 3 children! God forbid anything happens but that is FACT. I have been asked to be a god mother 3 times and I don't take that duty lightly. I have many children in my life (niece, nephew, MUCH younger siblings) and I love them all dearly. So what I am trying to say is, I will more than likely adopt when the time is right provided I am in a loving marriage and a secure home but I will have to fight for my kids. My kids will not happen via a mistake or a one night stand, because lets face it we know there are many many accidental pregnancies. And what about the poor unwanted children brought into this world? The poor little children that are put into care? The poor little children on the streets across the world over? Do these children not deserve a loving home with loving parents? Because I tell you now I would be honoured to provide for a child in need and mark my word I will. Are the no campaigners gonna clutch onto the straw of, 'surrocacy, because she needs a mother for life not just for 9 months vote no'. What do they say to the children in the situations I have just mentioned? Are they willing to deny children a GOOD LOVING home because of their potential parents sexual orientation?? I don't think so. If you are reading this (no voters) and this is your reasoning to vote no then you need to do some serious soul searching. Now I'm not saying that gay parents are perfect, no parents are but at the end of the day their families are planned, because they have to be. Now why shouldn't they have the same rights are heterosexual parents?????? Exactly.
I am sure you have read storeys on gay couples where one of them passes away and due to the family not accepting them and their partner, the family taking full control of their funeral and the widowed partner being left in the cold? No? Go surfing guys because there are many many stories out the there that will break your heart. So What would happen if my wife was on her death bed? Technically I would have no control over her treatment and no say in what happens to her. Because I don't have the right to. Them choices are down to her family. But if we had marriage equality they would be down to me. Yes we can draw up wills etc... But what happens in case of emergencies? We are looking at the big picture.
So guys I could go round in circles all night trying to convince some of you to vote yes and point out multiple reasons as to why. But the truth is you know why. You know how important this is. I hope and I pray that we are victorious. It will be monumental. Ireland, will be the first country in the world to grant same sex marriage via a public vote, the first country in the world!!! Yes there are other country's that have same sex marriage equality but these rights where given via high court rulings or parliamentary votes. So lets set the right example. Part of me thinks that we've got this! But the more rational part of me knows that this is not the case. You have to vote! I repeat, You have to vote! And if you are between the ages of 18 and 25 do you know your age group are the least likely to vote but your age group has the highest percentage of potential yes voters? So its vital you vote.
In the words of Macklemore ''a certificate isn't gonna solve it all but its a damn good place to start''. Marriage equality will not rid Ireland of homophobia we are a far cry of people not passing judgement and dispersion on the gay community but it will be one very big step closer to a lesser prejudice and discriminatory world. In my opinion, we are caught between 2 different generations. One that is accepting. Full stop. Doesn't give it a second thought. And another generation where a lot of the people still need convincing and I hate using that word but it seems the only word appropriate. They need to be convinced in more ways than one that the gay community have an equal place in society as them. They need to be convinced that gay people are here to stay and it is not a choice (because believe me you would not choose to be gay). They need to convinced that being gay is normal. It may not be their normal but it is to thousands of people and that is OKAY! Being gay to me is as normal to me as being straight to you is. They need to be convinced to vote yes!!! It is also in my opinion that the next generation won't blink twice at a gay couple. Why? Because its normal! Because they are now growing up in a society where we are getting closer and closer to equality. Marraige equality will be proof of this. Marriage equality will improve the lifes of gay couples across our country. We are so close but its not over yet so please vote yes.
Please feel free to leave me a comment letting me know your view and thoughts thank you for taking the time to read this.
Much Love and Same Love,