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'I am gay, I am Catholic and I am a primary teacher in a Catholic school'

Teacher David Mooney has written movingly about how the upcoming marriage referendum affects him.

Image: David Mooney

A GAY, CATHOLIC PRIMARY school teacher has written movingly about how the upcoming marriage referendum affects him.

David Mooney, who teaches at a Catholic school, has asked people to vote ‘yes’ to “remove the limitations and restrictions” on gay people in Ireland

As a practising Catholic, he says, he knows he has done things that the church would consider sins, but “loving another man is not one of them”.

“I fail to see how allowing me to love and supporting that love as equally as the love expressed by my straight friends could be damaging or destructive to society,” he writes.

I’d like to think I’d make a good dad. I’d like to think that I’d choose a partner who would also be a good dad. If we decided to have kids, it would be a very informed decision… It would be considered, planned and fought for. And that child would receive every ounce of love, support, encouragement and care that I could give it.

“God made me. He did not make the institution of marriage,” he continues.

Let me love. Let me commit. Let me feel supported. Let me be equal. Let me be a husband. Let me be a Dad. Without the limitations or restrictions.

“I’ve been very lucky”

According to the Employment Equality Act, religious schools are exempt from certain aspects of equality law that conflict with their ethos – meaning teachers can be dismissed for their sexuality.

However, Mooney told DailyEdge.ie that he has been “very lucky”, and hasn’t experienced many difficulties as a gay man teaching in a Catholic school.

meprof2 Source: David Mooney

“My sexuality doesn’t affect my professionalism,” he said. “[Both management and staff] respect me for my dedication to my job and the students in my class.”

That said; things were very different ten years ago when I started at first. I wasn’t “out” to my staff and was very afraid of being true to myself in the staffroom. I found myself substituting “him” for “her”, saying “Ciara” instead of “Ciarán” etc. I was afraid that management would hold it against me, afraid that the parish priest would too.

“Thankfully, when the time came to tell my principal, she was incredibly supportive and encouraging,” Mooney said. “She was a believer in love and knew that my sexuality had nothing to do with my profession.”

He says his students do not know that he is gay, but he would like to be a positive “role model” for them:

I’d like them to know someone who is happy, successful, Catholic, respected in the community, and happens to be gay. I want them to know that it’s OK to be gay, that I’m happy to be gay, proud to be gay and that it really is no big deal.

Read David’s full blog post here.

Hozier absolutely owned Fidelma Healy-Eames on Twitter over same-sex marriage>

More: In Your Words – Being a gay teacher in Ireland>

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