Hollywood sex symbol Colin Farrell has spoken out in support of his gay brother’s right to marry in Ireland.
In a heartfelt opinion piece for the Sunday World, Farrell urged his countrymen to vote in favour of marriage equality in next year’s same-sex marriage referendum.
“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,” wrote Farrell.
“And this is why the forthcoming referendum is so personal to me. It’s about inclusion. It’s about fairness. It’s about giving our lesbian and gay sisters and brothers back a right that should never have been stolen from them in the first place.”
Farrell’s brother, who is married, was only able to tie the knot with his partner in Canada. The 38-year-old Irish star described the two as “about the healthiest and happiest couple I know.”
The actor went on to say: “The fact that my brother had to leave Ireland to have his dream of being married become real is insane. INSANE. I can jump into my car now, drive four hours to Vegas from Los Angeles, get drunk and meet a woman and have Elvis marry us for $200. And yet in many states in America, if I were gay, I couldn’t marry.”
Farrell concluded: “How often do we get to make history in our lives? Not just personal history. Familial. Social. Communal. Global. The world will be watching. We will lead by example. Let’s lead toward light.”
Farrell has been a long-time supporter of the gay and lesbian community. In 2012, he backed an Irish LGBT youth campaign against homophobic bullying.
Same-sex civil partnerships have been recognised in Ireland since 2011. The country will vote on full marriage equality in a referendum in May next year. According to polls, up to 75% of the Irish people support legalising gay marriage.