When I experienced bringing a life into this world, I had never felt so vulnerable and raw yet instinctively protective. Like a wounded lioness watching her cub and ready to pounce on anything threatening, regardless of the weak state I was in. It is for me without a shadow of a doubt, the most powerful, all consuming, unconditional form of love imaginable. Along with the overwhelming instinct to protect this life placed in my hands, the weight of responsibility landed with an extraordinarily heavy thud onto my conscience as well as my heart.
You hold a life in your hands and why shouldn’t this life be one that is capable of having an impact in this world? Manners, morals, and principals became priority in raising my new-born son to be a man, what I hope to be a wonderfully good man one day.
On the other hand is the overwhelming love; the love that consumes you boundlessly and ignites the fear that the world may not afford your child the same courtesy. It’s essential we prepare our children for rejection, insult and an element of failure; it’s our duty that they’re prepared to accept some criticism in life without allowing it to cripple or define them. The moral lessons to instil in a young life are extensive; trust, confidence, bravery, humility, love, respect, to name but a few.
Before you know it they’re growing before your eyes and learning by example. Such inquisitive little beings they are, parents know of the joy and bafflement the millions of questions asked by our kids daily brings. As a single mother raising my son, one day his curious nature led him to ask me if I might get married one day, and I responded honestly saying I don’t know, maybe. I remember clearly how my five year old son then asked if I would marry a man or a woman and I was taken aback, pleasantly surprised and so proud of his open mindedness. It was then I explained how it wasn’t legal for a woman to marry a woman in this country (yet). The natural response of a child followed, ‘But why Mammy?’. I couldn’t easily explain why, he was so confused: if something is not legal then it’s wrong, isn’t it? How rapidly my open minded son was pushed into a corner of confusion. Children learn the difference between right and wrong from a very young age. Knowing what’s illegal obviously influences a child, when someone steals they break the law, when someone attacks another person they break the law, but when a woman wants to marry a woman who she loves deeply, it’s against the law?
How could children learn that such a relationship can be just as healthy, happy and legitimate as a heterosexual relationship if it’s not legally recognised in the same way? Homophobia is not born in a child. Children are the most wonderfully optimistic, trusting and loving beings imaginable and they’re influenced and conditioned by those raising them and the society they grow in.
From the moment I knew my son was growing inside me, I loved him boundlessly. It enveloped me whole and has been the most electric, powerful love I could hope to imagine. All I hope to do is raise a strong and good man’ if I succeed I will be happy. I abhor the thought of my child being discriminated against and this desire for respect extends to any child in the world.
My stance for equal marriage has two concerns, one for any adolescent coming out in this country; Secondly the battle against homophobia. This battle begins from our roots up, our children are the future and it’s our responsibility to guide them, and shape the future for them as best we can. A parent’s love knows no bounds, there is no room for discrimination, we’re here to support and love them. I made that promise the moment I brought life into this world. My love for my child is a solemn vow to fulfil my duty as a parent. It’s the most ferocious kind of love, one that incites you to destroy what ails them or anything that threatens their well-being on a daily basis. How far does that instinct extend? Do we not want to protect our children? Do we not hold a duty to respect, support and afford freedom to our children? The answer to all of these questions is YES. #YesToEquality
Let’s not underestimate this movement for equality, it holds the potential to pave a brighter future. As a mother I urge every single person to register themselves to vote and please vote yes, be on the right side of history.