Sunday, May 17, 2015

Irish 16 year-old speaks out on same sex marriage

The issue of same sex marriage is on the table in Ireland and will be decided by popular vote this Friday.  As the Guardian points out quoting the reaction from Ursula Halligan a well known television personality,
"If carried this Friday, Ireland will be the first country in the world to pass marriage rights for same-sex couples by popular vote. “For me, there was no first kiss; no engagement party; no wedding,” wrote Halligan. “And up until a short time ago no hope of any of these things. Now, at the age of 54, in a (hopefully) different Ireland, I wish I had broken out of my prison cell a long time ago.” "
It has been reported than US Christians are pouring lots of money in to the "vote no" campaign. These are likely the same Christian Zionists whose money and influence help support the racist Zionist regime in Israel. US capitlaism exports not only military weapons but financial and ideological ones.
Facts For Working People reprints a statement below from a young Irish woman about the referendum and what the issue in general has meant for her growing up. It was originally published on the Bogman's cannon website.
Vote Yes campaign flier

16yo Lily Horgan speaks out on the Marriage Referendum

I don’t know what I was expecting. I’m young, sixteen, and for a while I was blind to the ignorance and prejudice in my country. I thought for a while that we were all equal, no matter what colour, gender or sexuality. It was nice being that oblivious. Then I grew up a bit and I noticed more, I noticed the snide comments and the sexist, racist, homophobic and transphobic remarks made by so many people. Too many people who had authority or who were respected and who got away with it. And it made me sad. And then it made me angry. And it’s making me angry now, because not only has our country prohibited same-sex marriage for so long but when we are finally suggesting it we still have ignorance and prejudice amongst us.

People who are still sitting and thinking “actually, I feel that voting no is definitely the right thing to do for our country and our people” and then they sit back and smile, satisfied at having made a decision. It’s sad really because these people are so very misinformed and it’s often not their fault, because even to this day we are not taught about sexualities in school until we are at least sixteen. I’m in my fourth year of secondary school and not once have I been told by my school that it’s okay to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Let alone all the other sexualities/genders that I probably will never be taught about in school, including asexual, pansexual and genderfluid.

Statistically speaking, something like 1 in every 10 people do not identify as heterosexual. But I don’t like statistics like that, they put a line between “us” and “them” when really it is just “we.” We are all people, we all fit into some statistic and it is quite often irrelevant. I am in no way encouraging people to not be proud of who they are and to not celebrate their individuality, but I just wish that there was less of a divide.

I wish that when I was 12 and had “the talk” it was inclusive of all sexualities, that in primary school when I was told I might start liking boys soon, that I had also been told it was completely normal to like girls too, or both or neither. That we weren’t constantly alienating anyone different. Because now I’m sixteen, and no one in my school is openly gay.

Maybe that is because no one is sure yet, maybe it is because I just haven’t heard about it yet or maybe because people are scared. Scared to be themselves, scared to walk down our halls holding another girl’s hand. It’s hard because as students we look up to adults, though we don’t often admit it, and right now we are looking up to our country and seeing a decision about our future being made by others. The thing is, if you don’t want to get married to someone of the same gender as you then don’t, no one cares, but at least give people who do a choice. Let them make the decision because in the end, it is their wedding not yours.

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