Wednesday 20th May 2015, Dublin.
The Green Party has today made its final pitch to voters asking them to back a Yes vote in the Marriage Equality referendum. Over the last years, months, weeks and days the party has actively campaigned for full marriage equality for Ireland’s gay and lesbian citizens, and offers its heartfelt thanks to the Yes Equality group who have run a fantastic campaign.
Speaking this morning, Green Party Director of Elections and Spokesperson on Justice and Equality, Cllr Roderic O’Gorman said: “We now stand on the cusp of a defining democratic mandate for full equality for gay and lesbian Irish citizens. It is incredible to think that it is only 22 years since homosexuality was decriminalised, and only then under pressure from the European Court of Human Rights. If we choose to take the final step on this historic journey on Friday we will be that much closer to realising the republican ideals that our state was founded upon almost 100 years ago.
“When the Green Party succeeded in introducing civil partnership in 2010, we argued that it was an important step towards equality, but we were always clear that the goal was full civil marriage for gay and lesbian citizens. Civil partnerships are not the same as civil marriage. Beyond the more than 160 legal differences between them, there is the fundamental fact that civil partnerships could be diluted or dissolved by a future act of the Oireachtas. Marriage is constitutionally protected as the highest legal commitment between two people and the cornerstone of the family, and in our state it is only the people who have the right to amend that definition. A Yes vote will enshrine the equality of gay and heterosexual relationships in our constitution, and finally acknowledge that gay families are families too.
“It is ok to be unsure about how to vote on Friday. It has been a long and often confusing campaign for voters, especially given the deliberate and cynical misrepresentations of basic facts by some who advocate for a No vote. But while it is ok to be unsure, it is not ok to be uninformed. If you have questions, the answers are out there. Whether it’s surrogacy, adoption, or something else, these concerns have been answered by independent experts who have no interest in aligning with a particular side. Read what they have to say, and understand the facts of this vote.
“As a citizen of this country who is gay, I am literally relying on the kindness of strangers to grant me my constitutional rights this Friday. I ask voters that they be fair, loving and generous and vote Yes for marriage equality on May 22nd.”
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