A handful of yes votes

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I think it’s ridiculous that I, or anybody else has the power to tell a person who they can or can’t love. In my eyes, they’ll still face the very same things I would in a relationship. They might fight, cheat, face hard times; so what makes them any different to me? What differences would their marriage have to mine? It’s still going to be two people who love each other and in my eyes that’s all that matters, and that’s really what marriage is supposed to be about. Trust, love and respect. Just because it might not be a traditional marriage doesn’t mean the marital values aren’t the same. So that’s why I’m voting yes.

Laura-ashley Ní Shúilleabháin, 19.

I’m voting yes because I one day hope to marry the girl I love so why should some people be restricted in their options of how to show and celebrate their commitment to the person they love. Also it is important to allow two same-sex parents to be seen as a family in the eyes of the law.

Aaron Fleming, 19.

I’ll be voting yes on May 22nd because I believe human beings deserve, and have the right to fully commit to, and marry the person they love, regardless of gender. It’s not a privilege, it’s a human right. Someone who is born attracted to the same sex has love to give of the exact same value as their heterosexual friends and family.

Wynona Grant, 21.

Why are people even saying no? There is absolutely nothing wrong with same sex marriage. Children do not need both a mother and a father figure to be happy in life. Whether they have a single parent or two parents of opposite or the same sex, every child can be happy. It is so typical of Ireland to make such a huge fuss over something that shouldn’t even need a second thought.

Sophie Smith, 17.

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Well I’m voting yes because I’ve always dreamed of getting married. Practically the only thing I want in life is to be able to marry the person I love, regardless of that person being female. You don’t decide who you fall in love with, it just happens.

Chelsea Noonan, 18.

I am voting ‘Yes’ because I believe in equality. It has nothing to do with the LGBT community.When I vote, I am not thinking about my friends who are in the LGBT community nor do I believe that this is a great catalyst of integrating the LGBT community and the heterosexual community together. That is because there is no such thing as a heterosexual community and there is certainly no such thing as the LGBT community; we are the one community…citizens in the Republic of Ireland. Let’s not create a dichotomy and say that we are ‘different’…because we are not. We eat the same food, we read the same books, we dance to the same music, we work in the same office and we fight the same fights. I am voting ‘Yes’ because I believe every person of all orientations should be equal.

Fintan Walsh, 23.

I’m voting yes because the world is changing. Once upon a time it was frowned upon for black people to marry white people, and for people of different religions to get married. But that changed, like everything does. The world we live in now is more accepting than it was in the past, so there are a lot of things that need to be fixed. I have a lot of friends who are gay, and to think that they’re being treated as less than equal because of their sexual orientation completely infuriates me. They deserve to get married to the person that they love just as much as anyone else does. I want to be able to grow old knowing that in the future, my kids and my grandkids have the ability to marry the person that they love, regardless of gender.

Michaela Deane, 18.

Less than 100 years ago, black people had no rights. Less than 40 years ago, Irish people had next to no rights in England. Now it’s time to liberate the modern day minority, LGBTs. It’s exactly how Bob Dylan put it, “the times they are a-changin'”.

Micheal Bergin, 18.

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I’ll be voting yes because I feel that everyone living in this country deserves equal opportunities in all aspects of their lives. This is not very likely any time soon, but Marriage Equality is a realistic start. Ireland is currently living in the past and needs to update the law to give all Irish people equal rights. Voting no because “children need a male and female parent” is not enough of a reason, as many children have single-parent families and have been raised well, as grandparents, aunts and uncles are also involved in raising a child. If this referendum does not pass, I will be embarrassed for this country.

Alice Shannon, 19.

Love is love; gender should never be a factor. The idea that we’re denying two people who love each other the right to marry puts us years behind advancing as human beings.

Conor Linehan, 22.

I’m voting yes, simply because I don’t understand how a marriage that could bring two people so much happiness, could cause any kind of hate. I also think there’s a simple logic to it. If you’re against gay marriage, just don’t be in one. It’s not a sufficient reason to prevent other people’s happiness.

Aedín O’Tiarnaigh, 19.

I’m voting yes in the upcoming referendum simply because I personally think everyone should be entitled to marry the person they love. I couldn’t imagine how upset I would be if I were to be denied the right to be married, something I’ve daydreamed about since I was a small girl. As I’ve mentioned before, throughout my childhood I had always been told to be “different” and now once a person is different it’s frowned upon in today’s society. I think it’s a joke that you and I have my sister’s future in our hands, or any individual that’s LGBT for that matter. Vote YES!

Treasa Coleman, 18.

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I don’t see why some people/groups are so hell bent on not letting this simple law pass, which will give every person the right they deserve to marry “without distinction as to their sex”; a very basic human right in my opinion. It’s not like same-sex couples getting married is in anyway going to affect their own marriage, or the marriage of anyone else.

Hayden Coffey, 20.

We don’t make a conscious decision when we fall in love with someone. It just happens. If anyone is lucky enough to fall in love with someone else and then have those feelings returned, they SHOULD be given the opportunity to decide whether or not to marry that person. Love is love.

Shane McCormack, 23.

You know, you’re told when you’re young how your life is going to go – study, find a job, find love, get married, have kids. No-one ever tells you about the complications that go with it… maybe because they don’t expect there to be complications, because no-one’s going to assume you’re gay. But they’re still right – there shouldn’t be any complications in trying to declare your love for someone and knowing that declaration isn’t classified as second-class. It shouldn’t be a problem that I want to gather my loved ones, gather his loved ones, and celebrate what we have. People keep using the defence that a child deserves a mother and father. Get it into your heads, please, that gay and lesbian people can already adopt. We can already be there for children and raise them with the love they deserve. You’re thinking you’re doing the right thing by preventing gay and lesbian people from adopting, but that’s already allowed – what you’re doing is preventing that child from the legal protection they need. And keeping all those benefits from a child? That’s on you.

Darragh Egan, 18.

I am voting yes because I want to be treated as an equal citizen in my country. I want the choice to be able to marry the woman I love. And If I decide to have children in the future I want them to have the same constitutional protection as the family based on marriage between a man and a woman. #YesEquality

Alice Neville, 20.

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Personally, I feel everyone has the right to love, so everyone should have the right to have their love legalized and recognised by the state. Our current equality legislation states that it is illegal to discriminate on sexual orientation, but I feel what has been happening in Ireland until now is complete discrimination. I cannot fathom how a country can tell one person they have the right to marry and then prevent another one from doing so. It’s ridiculous, cruel and humiliating. It’s also quite embarrassing, and I know I’ll be absolutely mortified if we vote no as a nation. And this whole “Every child deserves a mother and a father” is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Most of the people who have physically or emotionally bullied me had two parents, and they have turned out to be complete low lives and obviously took their horrors and melancholy out on me. I don’t understand how having two parents has made them good people? It hasn’t, because they’re not good people. However one of my best friends only has a father – her mother died of cancer when she was eight – and she is one of the nicest, most interesting, funniest and most intelligent people I know. She will be voting yes on May 22nd. And I will be too if you haven’t already guessed.

Lisa Brennan, 18.

I’m voting yes because there’s no point voting against people being happy when you can vote knowing you’re making other people happy.

Conor Doyle, 21.

I’m voting yes in the referendum because to me, the idea of our little country being the first in the world to pass equality by popular vote is the most beautiful thing in the world. I’ve tried to be as objective as possible and have looked at all the points for and against, but to me, nothing anyone against it has said is more compelling than equality. Anyway, life is short and the only thing that really matters is being happy – so whatever you have to do to be happy, whether it’s marrying a man, woman or a garden fork, you go ahead and do it.

Lucy Cronin, 18.

I’m voting yes because LBGT people in Ireland are still second class citizens in their own country. Should Rosa Parks have been happy with a seat on the back of the bus? Nope? Then why should same-sex couples not have the same right to have the state recognise their love & their families, and have the same constitutional recognition & rights as those of opposite sex? Besides, what couple would trade their marriage for a “civil partnership”!

Seán Lynch, 19.

I’m voting yes because I want my best friends and my sister to get married just like I can. Because who they fall in love with is just as important as who I fall in love with and I want the best for them – and for them not to have to settle for a civil partnership. I’m voting yes because love is love, no matter how it comes – it’s too large to be divided into two, and it shouldn’t be.

Úna Cahill, 20.

Anyone with a heart at all will vote yes on the 22nd. Everyone should be allowed to marry who they love, regardless of their sex. The vote no campaigns that say children have the right to a mother and father are a load of s**t. There are plenty of children around living in one-parent homes and they’re no different to children who live with their two parents.

Aoife Brennan, 21.

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