In the run-up to Ireland’s Marriage Equality referendum on May 22nd, I’ve invited a series of guest posters– people from Ireland or who live here, of many different backgrounds and orientations- to share their thoughts on the referendum, the campaign, and what it means to them. Contributions to Guest Posts for Equality are welcome- drop me a message.
Paul Anthony Shortt believes in magic and monsters; in ghosts and fairies, the creatures that lurk under the bed and inside the closet. The things that live in the dark, and the heroes who stand against them. Above all, he believes that stories have the power to change the world, and the most important stories are the ones which show that monsters can be beaten.
Paul’s work includes the Memory Wars Trilogy and the Lady Raven Series. His short fiction has appeared in the Amazon #1 bestselling anthology, Sojourn Volume 2.
On May 22nd, the people of Ireland are being asked to vote on an addition to our constitution:
“Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”
In the interests of openness, let me state, clearly, that I am voting yes to this amendment. I am straight, I am married, and I have three wonderful children. I don’t believe there is any morally-sound reason for saying that a person should have fewer rights in their life choices than me on the grounds that their sexual or romantic preferences differ from mine.
In an ideal world, that is all this referendum would come down to. However humans are flawed things, and susceptible to the effects of fear and uncertainty. We resist change, particularly when it relates to something we consider “other”, or different to us.
And there are always those who will prey on those instincts to fulfill their own ends.
To say I’ve been emotive on this subject would be an understatement. The referendum will not affect me. But it will affect friends of mine, and it may affect my daughters in the future. I want them all to have the same rights I do. However I’m conscious that many people in Ireland are still undecided, or are deciding to vote no, or abstain, for various reasons. I’d like to try and set aside my emotional responses today and address, rationally, why I think voting yes is the right choice, in the hopes that people who do not want to vote yes will reconsider, or at least approach me to discuss their choice. Continue reading “Guest Posts for Equality: An open letter to Irish voters.”