Colm Toibín would 'love to have the right' to marry partner in Ireland

Published 21/04/2015 | 00:00

Colm Toibin
Colm Toibin

COUNTY Wexford author Colm Toibín says he would 'love to have the right to get married' to his partner in Ireland.

The 59-year-old gay writer has spoken out in advance of next month's same-sex marriage referendum. His partner lives in the States, and Mr Toibín said he would love to say to him that they could come to Ireland and get married here.

Mr Toibín, who has been nominated for the Booker Prize three times, said it was important for voters around the country to frame the referendum in personal terms, asking themselves how they would feel if it was their son or daughter who was gay or lesbian and wished to get married.

'If you ask people hard abstract questions, using words like "institution of marriage", that's one thing,' he said.

'But if you say your nephew is gay and he's 16, the first thing people would feel is a sense of worry - will he be all right?

'It becomes pressing and important that this person you know would have a reasonable expectation of a happy life. The less abstract it is, the more sympathetic people are.'

'The problem is, if you're gay, it's fundamental to you. If someone thinks that I should not have the right to love, it's very difficult to handle and it's very difficult to be rational in response.'

The author who is teaching at Columbia University but will be home to vote on polling day, May 22.

Wexford People

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