Monday 4th May 2015, Dublin.
Green Party members gathered in Dublin today to pledge their support for a Yes vote in the Marriage Equality referendum. As the party which brought civil partnership legislation through the Dáil, and also the first Irish political party to state their support for full marriage equality, the people speaking on behalf of the party today strongly expressed their support for a Yes vote in the referendum campaign.
Speaking today, Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan said: “A lot of separate issues have been thrust into this campaign – questions about surrogacy, parenting, and sexual relationships – and while many of them are important, they are not what the vote on May 22nd is about. It is a unique chance for the Irish people to be the the judges about whether or not we want full equality for our LGBT brothers and sisters.
“I listened with interest to what Archbishop Martin said today, and I respect his right to say it. But as a proud Catholic I have a different view as to where our church should stand on this issue. Just as Archbishop Martin calls for respect for freedom of religion, which allows people to express views on the No side, I believe there is room for freedom of conscience within the church for those who are advocating a Yes vote for marriage equality.
“The reception on the doors has been uniquely positive in this campaign, and I think the turnout is going to surprise people. I am confident that we will all be able to celebrate a great achievement once the votes have been counted. Vote Yes for equality, for families, and for love on May 22nd.”
Cllr Roderic O’Gorman, Green Party Spokesperson on Justice and Equality, and the party’s Director of Elections for this campaign added: “As a law lecturer in DCU, each year I teach my 1st year students about the Constitution, and it’s importance for law, politics and society in Ireland. I tell them about Article 41, and how our Constitution protects marriage in a way that is much stronger than most other countries. And I’m always reminded when I teach this part of the course that for me, no matter what the nature of my relationship with another person may be now or in the future, no matter how much we love each other, no matter how we provide for each other, no matter how entwined we are in each others lives, in our own country, we will never be recognised as a family. And on a deep level, that tells me that my country doesn’t value what I have with my partner, in the same way that it values my own parent’s marriage.
“The very core of the vote on May 22nd is about equality for gay and lesbian Irish citizens. We believe that marriage is important. It is a constitutional right, it is a civil right. And we believe that now is the time to extend the protection that marriage gives to all the gay and lesbian citizens throughout our country.”
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