Wednesday 18 January 2017

It diminishes us all when we allow some to be treated as less equal than others

Published 14/05/2015 | 02:30

James Brennan, from Tralee, and his dog Daisy Duke, promoting a ‘Yes’ vote in the marriage-equality referendum yesterday
James Brennan, from Tralee, and his dog Daisy Duke, promoting a ‘Yes’ vote in the marriage-equality referendum yesterday

I'm puzzled. I was under the impression that I'm legally married. We have the rings, paperwork and photographs. But according to a restrictive definition of marriage advanced by Catholic leaders, our union doesn't fulfil the criteria.

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That's because when we exchanged vows three years ago, we did so in the knowledge there would be no children. I'm infertile. My husband knew it when he proposed, and I knew it when I accepted. Does that invalidate our marriage? Put it this way, it doesn't pass the 'Archbishop Test'.

Let me tell you about our wedding day, which the Irish State recognises even if it falls short of Archbishop Eamon Martin's standard. It was a joyful celebration held outdoors, the spray from Niagara Falls threatening to drench us when the wind changed direction.

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