Actor Colin Farrell writes in this week’s Sunday World a personal appeal to the people of Ireland to vote in favor of marriage equality.
In the heartfelt plea, Farrell recalls how his older brother Eamon was bullied as a child for being gay, and that it is “insane” that his brother had to travel to another country to get married:
My brother Eamon didn’t choose to be gay. Yes, he chose to wear eyeliner to school and that probably wasn’t the most pragmatic response to the daily torture he experienced at the hands of school bullies.
But he was always proud of who he was. Proud and defiant and, of course, provocative. Even when others were casting him out with fists and ridicule and the laughter of pure loathsome derision, he maintained an integrity and dignity that flew in the face of the cruelty that befell him.
I don’t know where those bullies are now, the ones who beat him regularly … But I do know where my brother is. He’s at home in Dublin living in peace and love with his husband of some years, Steven. They are about the healthiest and happiest couple I know. They had to travel a little farther than down the aisle to make their vows, though, to Canada, where their marriage was celebrated.
That’s why this is personal to me. The fact that my brother had to leave Ireland to have his dream of being married become real is insane.
Ireland will hold a ballot referendum in May 2015 to allow its citizens to vote on whether to allow civil marriage equality for same-sex couples.
According to an Irish Times poll, 67 percent of the nation’s voters are in favor of marriage equality.