Is your love better than my love? Is it a stronger love, a purer love? I have no idea and what’s more, I have no desire to wonder.
One thing I know with absolute certainty is that the love men feel for other men and women for other women is as wonderful as the love I feel for my wife.
Do you feel threatened by the idea of a man marrying a man?
Does the idea of a woman marrying a woman in some way weaken your own marriage?
I dare you to ask yourself why?
Why does the love of two people you don't know weaken your love?
I find there are plenty of challenges, of both day-to-day and long-term varieties, involved in a successful marriage, but it never occurred to me that somebody else’s pairing might make my marriage feel worth less.
You might say that I feel the way I do as I am a Godless mutant atheist-pantheist Jew, who has no regard for the deeply-held religious views of others.
Nothing could be further from the truth. When I first arrived in Ireland back in 1992 I wrote carelessly and disrespectfully about abortion and divorce. Born in pluralist multi-ethnic London, I was shocked to my core to discover a country in which it was illegal to telephone certain information help lines. I had never imagined a country might forbid divorce in its constitution.
After being sent used condoms, a dog turd and obscene photos in the mail, I eventually stopped writing about religious matters, until one day I realised that I’d been successfully intimidated.
If your objection to same sex marriage is held on Christian religious grounds, why not ask yourself what Jesus would do?
A supremely compassionate figure, Jesus was never a man to compare one love to another. He saved an adulterer from being stoned and dated a prostitute. I’m sure that were he walking the streets of Ireland today, he would ask us to respect the love any human feels for another.
The Church disagrees, but sometimes life requires we show more wisdom than the words of men. I believe that if we all loved our neighbours and turned the other cheek, just as Jesus suggested, the world might be a peaceful place.
Anyway, this referendum is not comparable in any way with the matters of abortion and divorce, in that both of those are options we choose to make, or not, depending on our conscience.
Sexuality is not a choice. I think it’s fair to assume we have all evolved beyond believing that homosexuality is an illness that might be cured. We know that each of us is made up of varying amounts of characteristics from both genders.
A nurturer to a degree that belies the stereotype of my gender, I can appear quite effeminate on occasion. However, just because I hate to lose a seedling and knock up a fair roast dinner, I still fancy women. Another man, way more macho than me, might hate plants and not know his carrot from his celeriac, but fancy other men.
What we need to do is look deep into our hearts and souls. Forget the trivial reaction you might feel about what makes others happy, and ponder love: in love we are all equal and all our love is equal.
Equality, like sexuality, is not a choice. Equality is a right: the most basic of human dignities to be afforded. No love is more equal than others.
You might mean well with your ‘Vote No’ posters about babies and mothers, but this referendum is not primarily about children. If passed however, it will have a beneficial effect on their lives.
Beyond nourishment and shelter, children need only two things to flourish: time and love. As someone unable to have children, I find it utterly abhorrent that you might prevent someone from being a parent.
With a quarter of our marriages now ending in separation or divorce, Ireland has over 215,000 lone parent families. If you vote for love and accept marriage equality, more children will have two loving parents to cherish them.
Now I need to step off the eggshells upon which I’ve been tip-toeing and state clearly that this referendum represents a choice between love and hate.
It wasn't only my people that Hitler killed in the gas chambers. Burning alongside the Jews were gays, lesbians and bisexuals. You wouldn’t feel right stopping me from marrying, so why do you feel you have the right to stop others?
Do the Irish love their neighbours enough to allow a generation of Irish gays and lesbians to grow up as equals, proud to belong to the Irish nation, or is there still room for hatred?
I dare you to think of love as you place your cross on the referendum ballot. Think of love and if you feel threatened by the question, ask simply:
Is your love better?