Irish Teen Demands Explanation for Northern Ireland Marriage Ban


The fight for marriage equality is all done, right? Welllll, no, not quite. We may have won gay marriage here in the United States, but around the world a lot of nations are still lagging behind. Northern Ireland, for example, still won’t recognize married same-sex couples, even though the rest of the U.K. does.

And so we are treated to videos such as this one, in which an indignant 15-year-old delivers what he wonderfully describes as  “a wee political rant” about his Member of the Legislative Authority, e, who voted against a marriage equality measure.

The kid never says his name, but his username is “Tibbsey” so let’s go with that. His parents have been together for 21 years, he says, but “in Northern Ireland gay marriage is illegal. In the rest of the UK, it’s legal.”

In response to MLA Gordon Dunne voting against a freedom-to-marry measure last April, Tibbsey says, “I’m sure Gordon Dunne is happily married and doesn’t want his marriage revoked, or wants his government to recognize his marriage.”

And so: “I wrote him a letter to ask him why he voted as he did.” He hand-delivered it to Dunne’s office six weeks ago, and it read in part, “I don’t want to receive an impersonal reply. … Please explain why you are not in favor of equality.”

Dunne seems to have taken that request to heart, and has not delivered an impersonal reply. Or any reply.

“I’m a child of a same sex relationship and I can see no reason why my brother and I should be denied a secure family setup,” says the letter that Gordon Dunne does not believe warrants a response. “What gives you the right to take from my brother and me the right to legal protection for my family? … Why do you not believe that every single constituent of yours is equal?”

It’s a good question, and the world continues to wait in suspense for Dunne’s explanation. Could perhaps religion have a hand in the marriage ban? Northern Ireland has a bit of a reputation where Catholicism is concerned.

“I hardly think hiding from a 15 year old … is being an accountable figure,” Tibbsey concludes.