Last Wednesday, April 15, 2015, the Leitrim Observer posted a letter from Mr. Liam Kearns in it’s Letters to the Editor section. The same letter was reportedly printed in the Longford Leader and Roscommon Herald as well. While we at LGBTI Leitrim always strive to respect our fellow citizens for their differences of opinion we felt we should offer our support to our friends and colleagues (we’re on a bit of a jobshare at the moment, hopefully its running a bit smoother than the Government’s one! 😉 ) in YesEquality Leitrim showed us their response we wanted to share with you.
Mr Kearns’s letter published last week in the Leitrim Observer gives an account of his reality. In this reality Mr. Kearns implies that his experience of a nuclear family is the standard model for Irish society. This is an outmoded way of viewing things, for as we now know many Irish families have flourished due to the supports of the extended family and community.
Today in Ireland we have over 300,000 children being raised by single mothers, over 44,000 children being raised by single fathers, the majority are Christian, some are gay, and some are lesbian. Last year 2014, almost 40% of babies born were to single mums. Thankfully the majority of Irish society has moved out of the shadows and now we cherish the rich diverse families that are today’s reality in Ireland. Voting Yes on May 22nd will further our Society’s journey on the road to equality for all.
Mr Kearns seems to rue a time when as he would see it ‘Christian values’ were the order of the day and everything was as the Garden of Eden. We do not have a Christian constitution or any mention of a specific religion in it, not since the 5th amendment (1972). Church and State are separate in this country. Neither do we have a secular, atheist, or any other legal system as suggested by Mr Kearns. We have simply the legal system and the law.
The current Marriage Equality Referendum if passed, will simply extend the option of a civil registry office marriage (not religious) to every legally entitled adult citizen in the State. No amount of disinformation or innuendo will change that fact.
I fear Mr. Kearns does not grasp the diversity of religion and religious perspectives in modern Ireland with the recent support for Marriage Equality rendered by Church of Ireland bishop of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory Michael Burrows, who said he was supporting a Yes vote and referred to gay rights as “the great justice issue of our time”.
Yes Equality Leitrim.
It is at this juncture that we’d welcome Mr Kearns to come along and meet our families and friends on Friday night because #WeAreFamily and we can show him that #MarRef will not undermine Family because (a) it does not address it because another Referendum is being discussed on the rights of the child; so for now stay on point and let Love be Love, and (b) Family unit is already beautifully diverse in Ireland.