The Liberal received an email off a reader yesterday morning who wishes to remain anonymous:
To put virtual pen to virtual paper to write this is actually making me shake.
As a 31-yr-old teacher who pays her taxes, has a mortgage and tucks a new born in every night, I find it hard to actually admit that.
However here I am, writing under an alias because of the pressure and fear I feel for using my democratic right.
I assume the title I’ve asked to be included is pretty self evident that I’m voting No on May 22nd.
But it’s not self evident as to why, or indeed why I can’t publicly say so.
I’m a baby infants teacher in a suburban Dublin school. During everyday life, myself and my husband flippantly heard something about a “same sex marriage referendum” on RTE News about 6 months ago.
I immediately felt strongly opposed to the idea. I’m not a religious person whatsoever, so any religious argument from either side would be lost on me. I do and have always seen marriage between that of a man and woman, but moreover, I see it as the logical step to starting a family.
Myself and my then boyfriend lived together for a few years while we were saving for our house. We both had good jobs but the economy was so volatile we didn’t see marriage as something we needed to declare our love because we both didn’t want children then.
Life rolled on, I got a full-time position working with infants and had a beautiful little boy of my own.
Towards the start of March I was sitting in the staff room when one male staff member was browsing his phone and read out an Irish Times piece about someone opposing SSM. “Who do they think they are, I’d love to meet these people and give them a piece of my mind”, he said very aggressively. “Bloody religious homophobes, ruining equality for everyone”.
I was shocked at such a reaction but thought nothing of it. Perhaps naively, I never for one moment realised back then that it would be such a cut throat affair.
Since then on numerous times, not only have I felt intimidated, patronized and so out of place in society, I am actually afraid for my career prospects or professional relationships.
I’m voting No tomorrow because I believe the government have managed to pull the wool over the eyes of the people of this country. This referendum, if passed, will eventually entitle same sex married couples to surrogacy rights – something no law maker could deny. How could they? How could they discriminate against one married couple from another? They couldn’t.
That leads me to what I’ve now seen on a couple of occasions in my life. The direct love, care and affection a mother has for their child. The first few days in September is a daunting time in the young life of any little person. The cries, the smiles, the excitement – all cradled with “where’s my mammy?” Of course there’s “where’s my daddy” too, but the connection between child and mother is something that only nature can break – or perhaps a badly proposed referendum.
Many many single mothers and fathers do a tremendous job, I see their results first hand, but again that is a happening of life. By default of “surrogacy equality”, the State will eventually lead to same sex couples having a child. I believe that’s wrong. Actually, I know it is.
The fear and discrimination I feel while walking around Grafton St and seeing 18-yr-old’s pushing “Yes Equality” badges onto people is shocking. It has become publicly impossible to say you’re voting No, but that isn’t just bad for democracy, it’s bad for society.
I plead with you, as a teacher, as a mother, as a woman – Vote No tomorrow, this referendum only cuts the ties of a biological mother to a child. Please vote No.