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Vote ‘yes’ so that all children who are born after May 22 will be equal

I would like to speak to those people who are not sure whether they will vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in the upcoming marriage referendum.

I came out 11 years ago to my family. I was 17. I was so worried when I came home. I was soaking from walking in the rain. I went in and dried myself and came downstairs. I sat my mother down and, in a daze, blurted out “I’m gay”.

My mum was shocked, to say the least, but, over the next couple of years, she learned to accept this fact and only ever worried for me in a country that had only decriminalised homosexuality 11 years earlier. I always think back to that day and why my mother was so fearful. Over the years, I have realised why.

In primary school, I was bullied, even though I hadn’t realised I was gay. In secondary school, again, bullied. Then, halfway through secondary school, I’d realised I was gay and I worried that the bullying would get worse. Luckily, it stopped. I was so comfortable with myself that my classmates were, too.

Now, I’m a a confident 28-year-old who just wants to marry his partner of four years. I am pleading with the people who are unsure: your marriage will not be diluted, we will all be treated equally in the eyes of the law if you help me and vote ‘yes’.

The ‘no’ side has put forward several arguments about surrogacy and children. Currently, gay and lesbian couples can use surrogacy, as there is no law to stop it. So, even if you vote ‘no’, surrogacy will continue for now, which, by the way, is used by a majority of heterosexual couples.

The children’s special rapporteur has stated that adoption will always be in the best interests of the children. Also, all 14 child-protection charities have stated a ‘yes’ vote would be in the best interests of children.

The ‘no’ side has said these are puppet institutions pandering to the Government for more cash, but we all know that is not the case. We are talking about the ISPCC, Childline and Barnardos. So, what I’m asking is to ensure that children born after May 22, whether gay or straight, will always be seen as equal in their Constitution and have a fair crack at happiness.

Let’s make this a country where we accept each other no matter who we love.

Evan Murphy

Briars Court

Shanakiel

Cork

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