Letters: Gay community are entitled to share in the joys of life
Published 25/04/2015 | 02:30
As a Christian, when faced with a choice, I tend to ask: "What would Jesus do today?" Sometimes, he was strict about the law in the Old Testament; at other times, he offered an alternative to the laws.
It seems to me that the common attitude he took was always love: if there was a conflict between the law and love he always made the decision that was consistent with love. That is why I believe that the loving choice in this referendum is to support the amendment. It is not only to include gay people more fully in our society: it is to respect gay people by giving them the equal opportunity to express their love in marriage.
One of the things that has changed in marriage, thankfully, over the years, has been a growing sense of equality between male and female partners. I feel that marriage has also offered my wife and I the opportunity of supporting each other through all of life's joys and challenges at a deep level.
When I become aware of the deep loneliness that exists in the gay community, I feel they should have this opportunity too.
Before I got married, an elderly lady gave me advice in a pub: "Trust each other," she said. Of course, difficult times happen in any loving relationship. Friends and family fall out, marriages fail and sometimes couples and partners make decisions that hurt others: we are all human. But our sexuality does not make us better or worse people. My faith informs me that we all have an equal responsibility to love and a right to be loved in marriage.
Stephen Winder-Baggot, Dublin 8
Clarity needed on referendum
David Quinn (Irish Independent, April 24) is right. It is but a month to an important referendum in which the Government proposes to redefine marriage and alter the constitutional rights of children. So far, I have seen just one sentence on the proposed changes to Article 41 of our Constitution: "Marriage may be contracted within law by two persons without distinction as to their sex."
What exactly will we be voting for? Any two men to marry? Any two brothers to marry? Any father /son pair to marry? Similar arrangements for women?
Traditional marriage and same-gender marriage are neither equal nor the same. If the referendum result is 'Yes', will the same laws cover a variety of marriages?
One assumes that some badly needed explanatory information will emanate soon from the Referendum Commission. Should our politicians repeat their performance in previous referenda: "Trust us politicians, we know what is best for you."
Should the fact that the majority of politicians seem to be in agreement be a cause of public concern ?
Denis Gill, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin
There is a lot of diversionary talk in the run-up to the civil marriage referendum on May 22 regarding unintended consequences, with little debate regarding the actual consequences of the result.
One unavoidable consequence of a 'No' vote is that the citizens of Ireland will have decided by popular vote to class a minority group of Irish citizens - our children, our siblings, our neighbours and our colleagues - as second class, inferior citizens. We as a country are still coming to terms with the horrific treatment of other groups of citizens who in the past were deemed inferior.
A 'No' vote will show that after almost 100, years we will once again have failed in realising a country which guarantees equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens. History will not afford us a crozier to shield blame this time.
Dr Kieran Clarke, Co Dublin
Rise in debt since the bailout
Your newspaper published an article by John Bruton recently stating that when you spend more than you earn you end up with austerity.
What he should have said is that when private banks lend recklessly and are then nationalised and their debts socialised using taxpayers' money, resulting in a bailout from the IMF/ECB, the end result is austerity. Interesting to note before the banks were bailed out the State debt was under €50bn; it now stands at almost €200bn. It's past time Mr Bruton et al accepted what really caused the economic mess here and make those responsible pay for their recklessness.
John Sheahan, Swinford, Co Mayo
Care for neglected animals
An alternative therapy day in aid of the Animal Foundation, a shelter in Co Kildare that has been caring for abused and neglected animals for over 20 years, will be held tomorrow at the Spencer Hotel, North Wall from 12 noon to 5pm. All proceeds go directly to the shelter.
June Lattimore, Address with editor
Stamp of the British crown
I would like to respond to Mary Kenny's column on the subject of Irish post boxes which still bear the insignia of the British crown.
Maybe the British royal insignia on Irish property does not bother some, but others living here still remember, or have heard of, the terrible treatment the British soldiers inflicted on the Irish people in the name of the British crown.
Most of the piece was in defence of buildings from the Georgian period, and the gratefulness of the people of Ireland for the Englishman for bringing the Royal Mail to this country. God bless him. If the British had not occupied this country, we would have had our own postal service. Would Poland retain the insignia of the Germans, years after occupation? Next year - 100 years after the Easter Rising and the heroic actions of Irish rebels against the British - An Post should take all these post boxes off the walls.
Henry Hughes, Castlerea, Co Roscommon
UK election boost for Scotland
The British general election gives hope to an overwhelming SNP victory in Scotland with first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, hopefully, sweeping the board north of the border. If that scenario eventuates, a second, successful, independence referendum is in the offing, which bodes well for a future, united Ireland, an independent Wales, and a free England.
Dominic Shelmerdine, London SW3
A wise choice of words
Regarding the articles on the deepening urban rural divide (Irish Independent, April 24), I was reminded of a story.
Lawyer: 'At the scene of the accident, Mr X, did you tell the Garda officer that you had never felt better in your life?'
Mr X, an old farmer: 'That's right, sir.'
Lawyer: 'Well then, how is it that you are now claiming you were seriously injured when my client's car hit your cart?'
Mr X: 'When the Garda arrived, he went over to my horse, who had a broken leg, and shot him. Then he went over to Darcy, my dog, who was badly hurt, and shot him. When he asked me how I felt, I just thought under the circumstances, it was a wise choice of words to say I've never felt better in my life.'
D W McCann, Galway City