Marriage Equality Four Years On: Ireland Remembers

The LGBT+ community look back on that momentous day which changed our country forever.

From four years ago - a cheering crowd in rainbow accessories hold up signs celebrating equality

On May 22 four years ago, our country went to the polls for Marriage Equality. Despite many knowing that, overall, Ireland is filled with good people, there was still a sleepless night waiting for the results to come in.

And on May 23, they did.

62.7% of the population voted in favour of equal marriage, making us the first country to legalise it through a popular vote.

Every LGBT+ person in the nation remembers where they were on that momentous day four years ago.

One of those in the thick of it was Colm O’Gorman, the Executive Director of Amnesty International.

At this year’s World Pride event in New York, taking place on the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, Minister Katherine Zappone will accept an award from the Heritage Of Pride organisation.

This special presentation is to highlight the support Ireland gave its LGBT+ community through, amongst other things, the successful marriage referendum, in the hope it will inspire other countries to follow suit.

In a recent speech to the Oireachtas Children Committee, Minister Zappone described how Ireland is now considered “a leading voice, a recognised global leader, for LGBTI+ rights” and that “with this honour comes responsibilities. We are protectors of rights.”

The statement also includes, however, that if the goal is for Ireland to become “a fully inclusive, equal and fair society – we are not there yet.”

We may not be there yet, but we are fighting to get there.

This week, Call It Out – new civil society campaign – was launched with the aims to shine a light on the sometimes visible, often hidden, phenomena of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and the corresponding impact on Ireland’s LGBT+ community.

But while we may have achieved marriage equality down south, our family in the north are still fighting for their basic human rights.

Please sign Amnesty International’s petition demanding the UK Government give the LGBT+ community Marriage Equality so that they too can one day look back on their own momentous occasion.

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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