I posted a picture of Aryas birth certificate last Saturday and it’s caused quite a stir.
The response has been overwhelming. And in turn, the support for our petition has just grown and grown. I’m so thankful that you all are hearing us and helping to spread the word about the discrimination that our LGBTQ families in Ireland are facing every day.
I guess the image really resonated with people. It shows Aryas birth cert with a blank space where Audreys’ (my wife) information should be. Honestly, I’d never thought about posting it before. We have two birth certs that look exactly like this. For both of our daughters, Ava and Arya. In a way, we had kind of accepted that this is our reality. When we received both of them in the post, we just filed them away. Trying not to think too much about what that blank space represented. But we’ve had enough. Enough of accepting. Enough pretending everything is ok. Because it’s not ok. It’s not ok that we are treated differently than other couples, other families, other people.
Here is what I captioned the photo with:
This is what discrimination looks like. . I had to go to our solicitor during the week where I was forced to sign an affidavit stating that I was the sole parent and only adult responsible for our baby Arya. Which is a LIE. Arya has two parents- though only one of them is legally recognised. . Our government is well aware that lgbtq parents are being forced to lie on legal documents in order to obtain passports for their children. Many parents have refused to do so, but this means they are essentially stranded here and are not allowed to travel. It’s an absolute disgrace. . Our solicitor was quite taken aback by this birth certificate, he’d never seen this before. A married couple have a child and yet there is only one parent on the birth certificate. And simply because of our gender. . Make no mistake, our daughters have TWO parents. TWO people who equally created them, love them, raise them and are responsible for them. . If you think this is BS, please sign our petition (link in bio) and send a message to our Irish government that this is not good enough. Equality should extend to all children, not just those who tick the right boxes.
I’ve said it before and I'll say it again. I don’t think that there is a determined effort in the Irish government to withhold these basic rights. However there is certainly a lack of care, lack of action and lack of effort. And that inaction unfortunately translates to discrimination- whether they like it or not.
To the many many people who have sent us beautiful messages of support or those who have left uplifting comments- I thank each and every one of you.
I would say that 99 percent of the feedback has been positive. However, as is always going to be the case with the internet, there were some decidedly homophobic, transphobic and hateful commenters. I didn’t engage with any of them, but I did read a lot of what was being said. My reasoning for doing so was that I didn't want to miss out on reading all the good comments and being able to respond to them. Big mistake and let me tell you, my lesson was learned. Over the last few years I've developed a thicker skin when it comes to hate directed at me and my family, but it still hurts, no matter how much practice you have. How could it not? Thankfully, I was given a very good piece of advice yesterday...
‘It’s not worth reading through any of the hatred just to get to the positivity that you already know is there.’
And that person was SO right. I know that the love and support is there. So from now on, knowing that, is going to be enough for me. No more comment reading!
We are just about hitting the 20k mark on our petition as I write this (WOW!) and I can only hope that number keeps on growing. Perhaps as our support grows, the pressure will be put on Simon Harris to actually speak to us and have a conversation. Up until now he has been decidedly silent. Not responding to us (or any one else) regarding this issue. Not once. Just today, the Department of Health contacted certain organisations to tell them that the CFRA (the legislation that is for SOME female same sex couples but won’t cover our family) is now going to be delayed until May 2020. Even though I’m not one bit surprised, it is an absolute disgrace. Legislation that was passed in 2015- and despite repeated guarantees by the government, has not been commenced. It doesn’t bode well for any action being taken to legislate for all the rest of us if they are making such a mess of the extremely narrow legislation that they had in the first place.
This can only mean that we need to keep fighting and need to keep pushing for full equality. Otherwise, who knows how long our families will be waiting.
At the end of the day, we are just a normal family who love each other and love our girls. We don’t want equal recognition as our daughters parents just for the hell of it. Or even just because it’s our right. You see, in order to fully care for our children, we need it. We need it so that our girls are afforded every protection that is available to them under the law.
Ps If by some chance you are reading this and haven’t signed our petition, click here to be redirected and sign it! Thank you in advance.