10 Things You Can Do To Secure Marriage Equality

Marriage Equality Referendum

If Ireland votes No to marriage equality on May 22, it will enshrine into law, and the Irish psyche, the LGBT community’s place as second class citizens. In the remaining weeks we need to speak to our families, friends, acquaintances, neighbours and colleagues and urge them to vote ‘Yes’. Here are ten things you can do!


1. Get Canvassing

Research shows that the number one factor in helping people decide what way they will give their vote is talking about the issues on their doorstep. You may dread the idea of knocking on someone’s door and asking for their time, but Irish people like to be asked for their opinions, and the process is very enjoyable. As polling day approaches, you can join a team to get on the canvassing trail. Simply get in contact with your local Yes Equality group to find out where, when and how.


2. Start a Yes Equality Group or Volunteer

There are already 40-plus Yes Equality groups across Ireland, getting excited, pumped-up and working for a Yes vote come May 22. Check on yesequality.ie to see if there is a local group campaigning for a Yes vote in your area, and volunteer. If there isn’t one, why not set one up? Find out more about volunteering and setting up a group at yesequality.ie


3. Post a Video

In an age of information overload, online video content has become a key means for people to get their information. Why? Marketing companies say it’s because people connect with the human face, and they emotionally connect with video because it’s a more personal experience. Over 100 people have contributed videos on the votewithus.org site, which has tips and resources for you to produce your own message to Ireland about why a Yes vote is important for us all. Meanwhile, over on Straight Up For Equality lots of celebrities are getting in on the positive action, including Hozier, PJ Gallagher, Maeve Higgins, Lisa Hannigan, Danny O’Reilly of the Coronas, and Brian McFadden. Why not make one of your own for either site? It’s never been easier!


4. Have The Conversation

BeLonG To’s Yes campaign urges everyone to have one-to-one conversations to their parents, grandparents and friends about marriage equality and what it means to you. The best way to do this is to share your own story and say how important a Yes vote is to you, personally.

Tea And Cake for Equality is a campaign where you host an event at your home, office, club or organisation, with tea, cake and chat about the referendum, to show people they have nothing to worry about marriage equality. Photos of hosts and their guests will then be uploaded, tagged, shared and promoted on social media, sent to local newspapers and websites. Visit teaandcake.ie and click ‘I’d like to host an event’.

5. Get 10 People to Vote Yes

The National LGBT Federation, launched its Yes X 10 campaign in March, encouraging members of the LGBT community to get 10 or their friends and family to sign a form, pledging to vote Yes. Download  YesX10 form here and you can share your fully filled-in forms on Facebook, with a great prize involved!


6. Share & Retweet

It’s not enough to simply like posts or favourite tweets that support a Yes vote in the referendum. Share them with your Facebook friends and retweet. Better yet, share and ask your friends to share or retweet too. That way you are getting your friends and followers engaged in the issues. On the other hand, stop sharing and retweeting negative stories about same-sex marriage, because in doing so you are giving them more air. Make sure you encourage your friends and followers to get out and vote on May 22 too!


7. Engage With The Media

If you see or hear something in the media about same-sex marriage that you think is imbalanced or misleading, email the newspaper or site, or text/phone the radio or TV channel, and give your opinion, asking for proper balanced debate. Try to avoid using angry or defensive language; simply state the case for the truth.


8. Get Branded Up

Yes Equality have produced a range products that help share the message that you are voting Yes, from badges to T-shirts, bumper stickers, bags, posters and more. To get branded up, shouting the Yes message out loud and proud, visit the Yes Equality shop in Dublin’s Stephen’s Green shopping centre, or click on Yes Equality Shop now! All profits go towards the Yes campaign.


9. Invest in Marriage Equality

According to Grainne Healy of Yes Equality: “The marriage equality movement is a grassroots campaign and as such is dependent on people to help fund initiatives which will ask Irish people to vote Yes. Every cent will count and no donation is too small. If fifty thousand people gave a euro each we’d have enough money to engage in conversations with people across Ireland. We urge every person in Ireland who wants to see this referendum pass to donate today.” Yes Equality’s crowdfunding has raised just over 90K and they have to get it to the €100K mark by this Sunday, May 3. Donate now!


10. Go Out and Vote!

This might seem obvious, but it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to get off our asses and get to the polling booth on May 22. Remember that a referendum can be won or lost on one vote. Visit checktheregister.ie now to find out if you are registered to vote, and if not follow the simple steps they provide before May 5. If you don’t want to wake up on May 23 in a country that’s voted against your civil rights, then make sure you do your civic duty!

© 2015 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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