Outgoing Young Fine Gael President Dale McDermott made a heartfelt plea to his peers to support the upcoming Marriage Equality referendum.
During the Prime Time Session at the Young Fine Gael Conference last weekend, outgoing President Dale McDermott addressed Enda Kenny, Michael Noonan and a room full of this Young Fine Gael peers. He made a plea for the youth wing and the Fine Gael Party to support the upcoming Marriage Equality Referendum in May.
Below is an excerpt from McDermott’s speech.
“The immediate challenge […] for the next National Executive of Young Fine Gael is the Marriage Equality referendum. Young Fine Gael needs to play a significant role in this campaign,” McDermott told the audience.
“For years, being gay consumed my mind – I hated it. I was depressed; I felt that I could never achieve my potential and that a limit would be placed on how far I could go. [… But] I can say with absolute honesty that “coming out” has made me into the person I am now – happy, confident and even more determined to achieve whatever I aspire.
“However, I know what it is like to be the teenager in the classroom, hiding under a thin veneer of “straightness” because of an institutionalised fear of what my peers would say and do if my veneer was scratched.
“Inequality is instilled in our minds and if you were a gay teenager in a classroom at the moment, how would you feel knowing that in 21st century Ireland, you are not equal and you cannot marry the person you love? […] Not only will a Yes vote bring forth a new dawn on the night that exists for many gay people throughout this country, it will also tell the teenager in the classroom who is struggling with their sexuality, like me only a few years ago, that it is okay to be who you are in modern day Ireland, that it is okay to feel strongly for someone, no matter their gender.
“I hope that on May 23rd, I wake up an equal citizen in my country. A country that welcomes and embraces diversity. One that grants equal rights to each and every one of its citizens, including the right to marry.
“Our forefathers believed in equality. From the very roots of our nation’s beginnings, equality, liberty and fraternity were etched in their minds when dreaming of the much yearned for republic.”
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