LGBT group push Ireland to say yes to same sex marriage

LGBT group push Ireland to say yes to same sex marriage

MEMBERS of the Irish lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in London are preparing a campaign to encourage a ‘yes’ vote in Ireland’s impending same-sex marriage referendum.

The London Irish LGBT group, supported by the Mind Yourself charity, will spend the next four months canvassing the city in support of a positive result in the Marriage Equality Referendum due to take place in Ireland in May.

“Two years ago Mind Yourself and the London Irish LGBT group made a submission to the constitutional convention calling for the equal marriage referendum to take place,” a Mind Yourself spokesperson told The Irish Post this week.

“We hope for a positive outcome to the referendum and intend to carry out a campaign in London to promote the yes vote in the build up to May,” they added.

“We are committed to supporting equality for all Irish citizens.”

Their pledge comes just days after Ireland’s Justice and Equality Minister Frances Fitzgerald revealed the much anticipated wording that Irish people will vote on in the spring.

They will be asked to decide whether the new wording ‘Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex’ should be added to the Constitution.

Fitzgerald also confirmed that the Government is currently preparing an Implementation Bill which will address the changes to legislation that will be needed if the referendum is carried.

“The issue is one of equality, Marriage Equality,” she added.

“It is about removing the barriers which deny some couples the chance of marrying and of having relationships that are constitutionally protected.”

The referendum preparations were unveiled in the same week that TD Dominic Hannigan revealed that he had entered into a same-sex marriage in Britain over the Christmas break.

The Labour TD for Meath East tied the knot with his partner of two decades in a New Year’s Eve ceremony in London, of which he said: “It was a 20-minute ceremony with no witnesses and it cost £4.”

Hannigan’s revelation followed the headline hitting announcement by Health Minister Leo Varadker that he was gay.

LGBT campaigners believe this high profile ‘coming out’ will bring further progress for the community in Ireland this year.

“We warmly welcome Leo Varadker’s decision to speak openly about his sexuality,” Mind Yourself said this week.

“Increased visibility of LGBT people in Irish society provides role models for the community and supports the development of equal rights for all citizens.”