On the 28th August 1963 Dr Martin Luther King, Jr gave undeniably one of the greatest civil rights speeches in history: “I Have A Dream”. In this speech Dr King talked about how he dreamt that one day his four child would not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character and how the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. This powerful speech was one of the markers which led to the political freedom of all African Americans. It’s with this speech that I judge the content of our government and our society. I too have a dream that one day I will live in a quaint suburb with my husband and our two beautiful children. I too have a dream that my children won’t be judged or mocked because they have two fathers instead of a mother and a father. I too have a dream that one day I can become a teacher or a doctor without fear of losing my job because of who and what I am, a proud gay man.
I write this open letter to all the politicians and the everyday citizen who can’t understand that only having half the rights of a heterosexual is not equal to being an equal citizen. Civil partnership, while a landmark in Ireland, is no where close to the homosexual community being equal to our heterosexual brothers and sisters but rather it segregates us further. Since homosexuality was legalised in Ireland in 1993, we as a community have come a long way towards our goal of being equal citizens but we still have a long way to go. Ireland became a free republic under the illusion that all of her people would be free and equal citizens but clearly our government of today don’t have the same idea as those brave fighters.
Many of those who oppose what we believe in use God and the Bible as a sword to pierce our confidence as a community and as individuals. I feel that God in all his omnipotence surely is impossible of making mistakes, therefore it’s illogical to think that we are mistakes. Jesus also said “Love one another as I have loved you” and no where in the Bible does Jesus show no love towards anyone. Again logically Jesus loves everyone: gay, straight, white, black, Asians, men and women so we ourselves must love each other.
Another sword used to pierce us is the argument that homosexuals are not capable of raising and maintaining happy and loving families. This in particular is aimed at children, that there’s no way two men or two women can raise a child the same as a heterosexual couple or even a single parent. Studies are proving that we too are capable of raising happy and well loved children. Moreover, I feel in myself that no one could raise my child better than me and my future husband.
At the 2010 March For Marriage I heard some amazing speeches but there was one thing in particular that really caught my attention. “Ireland is nothing without her people, Ireland is her people.” So I ask, how can we as a nation move forward when at least 10% of us are still considered second-class citizens under our own constitution. Change is coming and it’s foolish to deny the one constant in life. For our beautiful country to be a great nation, we the Irish must join together to fight the hypocrisy of our government and allow all of us to be 100% equal and not just 50%.
I too have a dream today, that my children will grow into strong, confident adults who will never have to worry about what they are but only about who they are.