Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Yes for Marriage Equality, Yes for People with Disabilities

I have four genetic nieces. We share thick hair, blood, height, big smiles, book-worm tendencies, politics, talents, generosity of spirit. Then one day a few years ago in California one of the Fab Four married a woman and gave me another niece. I am proud to claim her. I would die for them and their love if I had to.

In forty eight hours Ireland will vote, hopefully, for marriage equality. A YES vote will give same sex couples protection under the Irish constitution. The No campaign has twisted this simple protection and recognition into a dark and complicated discussion about surrogacy. Holy Catholic Ireland is a complex place. My hope is that the YES vote wins by a landslide. If so, the stranglehold the church has on Ireland will be lessened, loosened.

I believe in the separation of church and state. And I honor people who have strong faith. Have it, live it well, do something with it that helps humanity. When I was a very Catholic child a series of priests who were all about civil rights and loving each other worked in our parish. One quit the church and married a woman with five children. Another one married a nun. They made our small world big and made us think more lovingly about the world.

A YES vote will save lives. I'm convinced that many young people who commit suicide do so because they feel unable to be who they are sexually. A terrible tragedy. We can send them a huge loving message this Friday: you are perfect.

Because of the Lunacy Act of 1857, my daughter Lily can not legally marry in Ireland. In fairness, this law was most likely meant to protect her from some asshole who would take advantage of her vulnerabilities. It is time to re-write that horribly-named act; it is time to address her independence, her lack of lunacy, her profound strength, her capacity for being a brilliant partner to a similarly-abled sweetheart.

Finally, the No Campaign should be ashamed of themselves for those posters that say 'Every child deserves a Mom and Dad.' How dare they place those archaic and hateful words every 500 feet along our route from home to school. Lily has come home extra tired all week. 'I know I don't have a Dad,' she said after a few nights of gentle probing...'the signs say I'm supposed to have one.'

No campaigners: you are not helping children. Fuck off.

For a very intelligent and powerful speech about the Marriage Equality referendum, google Mary McAleese's speech about her son.

And thanks to the LBGT people who help Lily and I live a fuller life solely by being your brave and loving selves: Ginger, Sally, Mike, Mark, Kevin, Enid, Brian, Nancy, Kitty, Barney, Doug, Dwayne,
Larry, Suzanne, Bernard, Liz, Billy, Alex, Simon, Martha, Iggy...

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