Ranae Von Meding, actress and LGBT+ parental rights activist, has been invited to speak on the Main Stage at Dublin Pride 2019 between 3.30 and 4.30 pm this weekend on 29 June.
The speech brings mixed emotions for Ranae as she and her wife, Audrey, continue their fight to ascertain full custodial rights for Audrey over their two children.
Ranae and Audrey used reciprocal IVF in a Spanish clinic to have their children (Audrey gave the eggs and Ranae gave birth). But because they went to a foreign clinic they will not be covered under new legislation which will allow for some female same-sex couples to gain equal recognition as parents to their children.
Ranae has been eloquently pointing out this injustice to advocate for her family and others: “We used her genetic material to conceive our children. Isn’t that what heterosexual couples do when doing IVF? They use their spouse’s genetic material to conceive. The only difference here is our gender.”
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Accidental Activist. . That’s what I’ve started calling myself. I never set out to do this. And I never thought that I’d have days like I had yesterday. Days of meeting the most incredible people who are doing life and societal changing work every single day. . First of all a meeting in @facebook with the awesome @lizzie_mansfield who is gonna help us in our fight for LGBTQ+ parental equality. In her own words ‘What can Facebook Do For You?’ Yeeeees☝️☝️☝️ . And then it was over to the @radissondublin for the @dublinpride conference where I was lucky enough to be invited to speak on a panel of activists who were all talking about their current campaigns. Humbled to say the least to be speaking alongside @noahhalpin founder #ThisIsMe, Evgengy Shtorn calling for an end to direct provision and the @lisadonegal editor of @gcnmag. The panel was chaired by @willstleger who is the Grand Marshall for this years Dublin Pride parade🏳️🌈 . And Arya just took it all in her stride of course! Not a bother to her to be sitting up on the stage with me. Hoping that the more exposure we can get, the more pressure that will be put on @simonharristd and @reginadohertytd to at least MEET with us and discuss the discrimination that our families are facing every single day. Each day that this goes on, is a day too long. My daughters and my wife deserve more than this. All our children deserve to be treated as equals. • • #lgbtqfamily #accidentalactivist #campaigner #equality #pridemonth #twomoms
The couple has been attempting to arrange a visit with Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection Regina Doherty to discuss this injustice, but the Minister has now cancelled with no alternative date given.
According to Ranae: “The government seem to be so behind Pride – having piggybacked on the arduous work of gay rights campaigners, and yet they feel like they can leave our children behind. The state has a really poor record when it comes to child protection. My wife can’t make any medical decisions for our children and if something were to happen to me, the State might take them off Audrey’s hands. She has no rights whatsoever. The Minister cancelling our meeting, with no alternative date given, is yet another disappointment.”
She also has said: “At the start of this year, there was a big fuss in the media about this legislation coming in. It was reported in the media as a big step forward for equality. But that was not the whole truth. It is not equality. Because it’s not for everybody. It is only for a select few who meet the very narrow criteria. The really cruel thing is that when this law does finally come in, it will not apply to us. In a cruel twist, we will not be eligible to apply for it because we travelled abroad to have our children and because we used Audrey’s eggs to conceive. It will not apply to other female couples who did at home, IUI (Intrauterine insemination), or used a known donor. It totally excludes male couples.”
Her message is simple: “We are a family. We may be a modern one, but we are family all the same… and it’s time that our Irish laws recognised that.”
Ranae recently spoke on a panel preceding Dublin Pride that celebrated current campaigns advocating for LGBT+ equality in Ireland:
3rd panel today
Where we are going looks at current campaigns and the future of our community.
Chaired by our Grand Marshall Will St Leger. pic.twitter.com/JENCXKXiaM
— CJ Leonard (@GreenIssac) June 25, 2019
You can contact Ranae at [email protected]. The parental rights activist can also be found on Instagram @ranaevonmeding.
To read her blog, check out her website, www.ranaevonmeding.com.
GCN first reported on Ranae’s journey in 2016 in the article ‘Couple Go Abroad for Reciprocal IVF.’
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