Voters, you hold my future happiness in your hands
Published 22/05/2015 | 02:30
It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter, because today my life will either be changed for the better or my future in this country will be shortened. May 22 could be the day that I recall with good memories or it could be the day that confirms my inequality in this country.
I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, a teacher, a sportswoman, a Sagittarius and underneath all of that I am a lesbian. I have known for many years about my sexual orientation, but I have kept it hidden because I have witnessed and experienced horrific bullying just because of who I happen to love.
I honestly believe that the passing of this referendum in favour of same-sex marriage will help to end the stigma associated with the LGBT community and lessen the prejudice that occurs every day.
There are so many posts, articles and leaflets flying around about the upcoming referendum. Some are highly misleading, with inaccurate information. Some pull at your heart strings and some bring children into the equation. However, this isn't what the vote is about.
Tomorrow, you will be asked to vote in favour of or against same-sex marriage. That being said, you are being asked if two people who love each other should be allowed to stand up in front of their families and say 'I do' and feel supported and loved.
May 22 isn't about gay marriage, it's about happy marriage, healthy marriage and wholesome marriage and having the right to marry the one that loves you when you're at your best and picks you up when you're at your worst.
Vote Yes because you know what it feels like to be loved and to love someone. After all, we love the same.
Name address with editor
Same-sex marriage referendum
A lot of my friends are voting No in the marriage referendum. They believe in gay people and their rights.
They believe in the importance of marriage between men and women. They believe in children having their fathers and mothers around.
They believe Irish people should decide this issue for themselves without being lectured by their media or bought off by international foundations.
I believe they are right.
Ballygawley, Co Tyrone
Nearly 100 years ago the 1916 proclamation wisely said we should cherish all the children of this nation equally.
Now, 99 years later, we have the opportunity to do so by voting 'Yes' on May 22, therefore allowing gay kids to grow up and be treated equally with the right to marry.
Ireland is a wonderful country. We are a generous, compassionate, tolerant, caring people. I believe those values can be shown by going out and voting Yes today.
Ballinaclash, Co Wicklow
I recently watched the 1973 episode of 'Reeling in the Years', where I was informed of a report published on the status of women in Ireland which recommended radical changes to promote equality.
When the Civil Service finally ended its 'marriage bar', women in the manufacturing sector were earning just 43pc of the hourly pay of men.
I thought to myself, how backward were we back then. And then I reminded myself that women are still fighting for equality in the workplace even today.
Now, in 2015, equality is being sought in relation to same-sex marriage which is the subject of the ongoing referendum debate. Over the past number of years many countries throughout the world have made inroads in changing their laws to recognise same-sex couples so that they have the same rights and obligations as heterosexual people.
Ireland must now follow suit and amend the Constitution to pave the way for a better future for everyone - every person, including gay people, should be afforded the same rights.
Everyone is capable of loving, caring and protecting their loved ones irrespective of their sexual orientation - and we must acknowledge that fact.
Those people who are voting Yes are making a deeply insightful and profound decision which will be fondly remembered in years to come.
When I watch future episodes of 'Reeling in the Years' I hope I can be happy in the knowledge that, in the year 2015, we were advanced enough as a nation to vote Yes for marriage equality.
Perth, Western Australia
Very little has been said about the effect on the church community, and the effect it will have on their faith in God's Word.
Also very little has been said about the effect on those who are pushing for a Yes vote, without I believe being aware of the consequences of agreeing with the proposed legislation. As a Christian, I know that the Bible teaches that for two people of the same sex to come together is offensive to God.
The teaching on this is very clear. In other words, if you wish to offend God, vote Yes, and if you wish to please God and obey Him, vote No. We are all free to live whatever lifestyle we choose, but one day we will all have to justify that lifestyle before God.
The situation is the same for all of our TDs and those involved in creating the legislation.
If this is passed, it will destroy the present definition of a family in the Constitution, and will create many more problems in the future.
"Equality for everyone" is the slogan carried on all the posters supporting the Yes vote. They ask what is wrong for two people who love each other having the right to be married.
Well, if love is to be the sole criteria for marriage then those people who are in love relationships that are considered socially unacceptable, eg, siblings, would have every right to say that they are entitled to marry. Within the meaning of the proposed amendment they could challenge any refusal in the courts.
Nobody can deny that we are all equal in law as in truth. All men and women are equal; this is as it should be and is beyond reasonable argument. However, what determines equality is not gender, but meaning and effect. Gandhi and Hitler were both men, but would any right-thinking person claim that they were equal?
All music is noise - but not all noise is music. Music is distinguished by its order and harmonic balance that we humans find pleasing to the ear.
Marriage of man to woman is similarly ordered to create a harmonic unity of two equal but organically different genders with the beautiful musical result of children who receive all of the complementary gifts of their loving and natural parents.
Common sense should inform our decision to vote No.
A Jedward in the Áras
If we reduce the age limit for presidents to 21, that means we would probably vote for one half of Jedward in the future. I am sure that visiting dignitaries would be really impressed.
Tinahely, Co Wicklow