Last night (March 10) at The Dáil, Minister for Health Leo Varadkar delivered an impassioned speech calling for marriage equality, quoting Irish revolutionary Daniel O’Connell.
Referencing the famous Irish political leader’s words in 1790s, Varadkar said, “The spirit of self is a great evil; the love of superiority is a great evil. The liberty which I look for is that which would increase the happiness of mankind.”
Leo Varadkar, who officially came out as gay in January of this year, added that a Yes result in May’s referendum on same-sex marriage would “benefit all of society in the long-run”.
“This is not a Bill about ‘gay marriage’, it is about ‘equal marriage’. It is not about weakening one of the strongest institutions in society, it is about strengthening it by making it inclusive and for everyone. It is about removing the sense of shame and isolation, and humiliation from many who feel excluded. It lets them know that Ireland is a country which believes in equality for all its citizens.”
“This is not an act of generosity to a minority. Rather, it is an act of leadership by the majority. It is a recognition that the majority does not become superior, by making another group feel inferior. It recognises that same-sex relationships are equal to opposite-sex relationships and that by doing so, all are enhanced, and neither diminished.”
Varadkar also recognised that some citizens have concerns over the bill, but instead of criticising them – he wants to educate. “They are not prejudiced. They just have concerns. We should not dismiss or ignore their concerns, but should attempt to answer and alleviate them,” he concluded.
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