'I grew up with gay parents - I had a very happy childhood'
As time passes and we draw ever nearer to May's referendum, same-sex marriage is becoming a topic hot on the nation's lips. This referendum is not only about improving the rights of a minority group, it also relates to the country's ability to change the status quo comfortably.
In my opinion, this is not something easily done in Ireland, a country which, like many others, is in some respects quite settled in its ways; I have come across many people recently who don't understand the need to vote; not because they are intrinsically homophobic, but rather because they see no need to instil change and they feel it does not affect them directly. The ability to affect positive change, as a whole, is something that the people of this country need now more than ever in the wake of a difficult recession and hard government decisions.
All Irish people are directly affected. We live on a relatively small island consisting of many close-knit communities. Within each of these communities are LGBT people who are being denied the same basic rights and opportunities afforded to their heterosexual counterparts.