Thursday 27 October 2016

Letters: A daughter’s search for love

Published 10/05/2015 | 02:30

"Although some people may choose to marry, one of our daughters does not have that choice as she is gay"

Sir - We have two daughters and like all parents, we wish for them to have happy and contented lives. Although some people may choose to marry, one of our daughters does not have that choice as she is gay.

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Our daughter knew at 12 years old that she was gay but, as the idea frightened her, she put it from her mind for a time.

At 16, trying to come to terms with, and to accept the fact that she was gay, she went out from her family and friends, alone, to find out who and what she was.

She was fortunate to make contact with a youth group, and here she found she was not alone, and was helped to accept herself as she is.

Later, when our daughter came out to us, we and her sister were supportive of her, but we did wonder if we could have done more to have made it easier for her earlier on. Because of this, I became involved with a parent support group. One evening I met a group of young gay people looking for help and advice as, having travelled their own difficult and sometimes lonely journeys to self-acceptance, they were about to open up to their parents and were worried. They had come seeking and needing something so fundamental between all children and their parents: love, acceptance and belonging.

We have an opportunity on 22 May to act fairly and with generosity for all our gay sons and daughters. This would build a more caring and inclusive society where children who open up to their parents will be received with love and support.

Ann Cooney & Tom O'Connell,

Dublin 3

Fr Flannery was being unfair

Sir - It is most unfair of Fr Tony Flannery (Sunday Independent, 3 May) to use the Pope to support his positive opinions on same-sex marriage.

Pope Francis goes a long way towards combining both aspects of the Christian tradition in this area. He spoke lovingly about people who are gay - "If someone who is gay, searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge," - but warned of the dangers of legalising homosexuality earlier this year.

He said "the family is threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage."

Earlier he had referred to this institution as being thousands of years old, forged according to nature and anthropology.

Eileen Gaughan,

Strandhill, Sligo

Support for Fr Flannery

Sir - I support Fr Flannery's point that same sex orientation is part of the natural order and that past teachings of the Catholic Church have caused pain to gay people.

However, I do think there is a reasonable argument that can be made to distinguish between the marriages of same and different sex couples, without undermining the legal validity of all marriages.

Tolerance of those with a difference of opinion will be an important outcome of this referendum, and a commitment by all of us to continue to challenge homophobia in all sections of our society.

Frank Browne,

Templeogue, Dublin 16

Yes campaign is like Dev's FF

Sir - Growing up in the rural countryside near Killarney in the "hungry '50s", Fianna Fail dominated the political landscape and that made my parents very happy.

Dev's picture was next to the Sacred Heart and, to my recollection, slightly above it. Friendships were decided by how your family voted, and that began as early as national school.

The present Yes referendum campaign reminds me of those old days. All of the political parties are tripping over themselves to show how liberal and 21st century they have become. No mention of increase in employment or better housing.

For the record; I will vote, as I always have, but I will not make up my mind till I've pencil in hand and my ballot paper in front of me.

Mike Kelleher,

Tramore, Co Waterford

Sunday Independent

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