GLEN has strongly welcomed the powerful endorsement of a Yes vote in the upcoming marriage equality referendum by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny. He made the comments in his leaders address to the Fine Gael party’s annual conference in Castlebar on Saturday night.
“The Taoiseach’s strong call for a yes vote in the marriage referendum is deeply significant. It is powerful to hear the Taoiseach of our country endorse the relationships of lesbian and gay people, and that it is right for them to have full and equal status as citizens of our republic” said Kieran Rose, Chair of GLEN.
“When the leader of our country states the case for equality so clearly, it sends a clear and positive message to all lesbian and gay people, their parents and families, as well as to all of Ireland, of their full place at the heart of Irish society” Rose continued.
Introduced by the Party’s first openly gay TD, Jerry Buttimer, the Taoiseach in his leader’s address acknowledged how important for Ireland a Yes vote would be. It would “send a powerful signal internationally that Ireland has evolved into a fair, compassionate nation.”
“Ireland and the Irish people have been on a remarkable journey to equality for lesbian and gay people over the last 25 years. Approaching the centenary of the Rising, the referendum offers lesbian and gay people the chance to become equal citizens for the first time” said Rose.
Speaking directly to all the lesbian and gay couples of Ireland, the Taoiseach gave a ringing endorsement to their aspirations, saying “this is about you; it’s about your right to say two small words, made up of three simple letters – I DO.”
The Taoiseach gave both a personal commitment and the commitment of his party, Fine Gael, to campaign for a Yes vote.
“We will do all that we can to ensure that this is a positive campaign which focuses on the value of marriage to everyone in Irish society, and how extending access to marriage to lesbian and gay people will strengthen that value. The referendum, if carried, will complete the remarkable 25-year journey to Constitutional equality for lesbian and gay people in Ireland” concluded Rose.