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Column: I'm a devoted father, I'm engaged and I'm a gay man - I should be able to marry

When the question “why are you getting married?” is put to any couple, gay or straight, the answer is the same: “because we love each other,” writes Christian Daly, who says time for marriage equality is now upon us.

Christian Daly

Gay marriage takes centre stage at the Constitutional Convention this weekend, where it will be decided whether to recommend that it be put to a referendum. Christian Daly tells us why he thinks it is time Ireland legislates for same-sex marriage. He writes:

A COUPLE OF days before her birth it was all panic stations. Will she take to me? What if I don’t look after her correctly? Am I suited for this? But then I’ll never forget a certain moment on the day of her birth when she woke and began to cry. I picked her up and held her in my arms and she suddenly stopped and fell back to sleep. It was from that moment the realisation hit me and all those fearful thoughts left my mind. I became sedated with a warm feeling and the notion that everything is going to be okay.

Being a father

I’ve been a father for nearly nine years now. All the ‘firsts’ are my fondest memories – the nappies, the late night feeds, teething, the first steps, potty training, tying her shoe laces, her first day of school, her first stage performance in the Olympia with the National Performing Arts School, the list is endless and still ongoing.

Her fondest memories are of all the foreign holidays we have taken together, but there is not a night going to sleep where she doesn’t want her back scratched or a story told. The way I approach fathering is by constant commitment, love and devotion. The combination of all of these approaches have nurtured my little baby into a healthy, smart and caring young girl.

Did I mention I am gay and have a fiancée? We have been in a committed relationship for the past five years.

Being engaged

He loves her like she is his, and she him, like he is hers. So where is the threat? There are thousands of children all over the world without a home or parent and I am sure not one of them would reject the opportunity of being the subject of a good, solid life in the surroundings of people who love them. It shouldn’t matter whether the parent is male or female. I believe that it is down to what a parent tells a child, and the approach they take on matters, for example, such as a different race, or a different accent being spoken in her school.

These are questions she has asked the obvious “why” to, and my response has always been simple and truthful: “Everyone is equal, people may look or sound different than others, but if you care about somebody you wont even let the thought enter your mind.”  She completely agrees with me and understands it.

Being adopted

Being unable to conceive a child is not a ground for annulment. I will add here that I am adopted, and my adoption has not had the slightest effect on my life – all I know is I was raised in a loving and caring family my entire life, which has been my guidance on giving such love and devotion to my daughter. To have a child is not a sole requirement of marriage and the Catholic Church agrees with this.

Times change and we must adapt with them. The time for marriage equality is now upon us. When the question “why are you getting married?” is put to any couple, gay or straight, the same answer is given: “because we love each other.” My fiancé and I do, and we are fortunate enough to have a child in our relationship that can benefit from the limitless amount of love and affection that she so requires, and isn’t that what a marriage and parenting is based on – love and affection?

Christian Daly is currently completing his BA Honours Degree in Film and Television at the National Film School (IADT). The Constitutional Convention is debating marriage equality this weekend. For more information on marriage equality can be found here.

Read: Kerry County Council backs same-sex marriage>

Read: Almost 1,000 civil partnerships in Ireland in 2012>

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Christian Daly

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