RTÉ cover Yes Equality asking their supporters to get involved in a nationwide grassroots campaign to ensure a yes vote in the upcoming marriage equality referendum.
Yes Equality: The Campaign for Civil Marriage Equality, a new independent nationwide civil society group launched yesterday to coordinate and lead the campaign to win the Marriage Equality Referendum on May 22nd. Hosted by Charlie Bird, the launch was attended by numerous well-known leaders from civil society, and a large representation from social justice organisations, civil society groups, political and faith-based groups, from across Ireland.
Grainne Healy, Yes Equality spokesperson said, “Today’s launch marks a historic moment for Irish society and its gay and lesbian citizens. We are asking Irish people to get involved, vote yes and share their freedom to marry. The referendum gives Irish people the chance to secure true equality for lesbian and gay people, who are our sons, daughters, brothers and sisters. The campaign acknowledges Irish people as generous and decent – people who want to live in an inclusive equal society.’
Kieran Rose, Yes Equality spokesperson said, “The Marriage Equality Referendum offers the chance for lesbian and gay people to become equal citizens in the country they call home. We are confident that a majority of Irish citizens believe that everyone should be free to marry the person they love and will vote yes in this referendum. It is too important to leave to someone else to win, so we extend an invitation to all Irish people to join us in achieving our goal. We have been on a remarkable journey to equality, and this referendum gives us the chance to give this significant freedom to all. There has been massive spontaneous support across Ireland, and we are seeing Yes Equality groups appear in every county. These incredible developments are part of Ireland embracing all its citizens equally.”
Healy continued, “This is a people’s referendum in that it was called for by the people following 10,000 submissions to, and intense conversation during, the Constitutional Convention. 79% of that people’s forum called for Government to hold a referendum to allow for civil marriage equality. We must now replicate what happened at the Constitutional Convention. We must engage in deep and meaningful conversations between citizens. This alone will secure a yes, and it is everyone’s job to make sure this is exactly what happens.”
Rose concluded, “We cannot win this referendum on our own; we are asking Irish people to get involved, show their commitment to equality and freedom, and join the campaign to win the referendum. Our greatest challenge is complacency. We need every person who wants the referendum to pass, to vote on the day. Irish people have with characteristic generosity and fairness, supported emancipation of lesbian and gay people over the last 20 years. We are appealing to the same values again. We trust and believe that the Irish people will answer the proposition with a Yes majority. Our success is dependent on Irish people coming together so that all Irish citizens can share the freedom to marry.”
More information on Yes Equality: The Campaign for Civil Marriage Equality, including an information leaflet for members of the public, is available from www.yesequality.ie.