Today, former President Mary McAleese spoke of her hopes for a Yes vote in Ireland’s marriage equality referendum.
At an event hosted by the BeLonG To Yes! campaign, McAleese said: “We who are parents, brothers and sisters, colleagues and friends of Ireland’s gay citizens know how they have suffered because of second-class citizenship. This referendum is about them and them alone.”
“We, the majority, have to make it happen for them and for all the unborn gay children who are relying on us to end the branding, end the isolation, end the inequality, literally once and for all.”
The former president discussed her own marriage. Mary McAleese has been married to her husband, Martin, for almost forty years. She said, “Will a yes vote affect my heterosexual marriage or any heterosexual marriage? Not in the least.”
Her son Justin also came out in favour of a Yes vote, just days after his mother’s announcement.
“But it will greatly affect my life and the lives of all parents of gay children. It will give us peace of mind about our children’s future and pride in our country’s commitment to true equality. It will right a glaring wrong.”
Calling for families to vote Yes in the referendum on Friday, McAleese said, “I am hoping that our voters young and old, Irish born and the new Irish will open their hearts on May 22 and liberate our country and our gay citizens, born and unborn, from the injustice of generations of branding, isolation and inequality.”
McAleese also addressed the issue of surrogacy in her speech saying, “No-one in Ireland, whether heterosexual or homosexual, has a legal or constitutional right to procreation using surrogacy. This referendum if passed will certainly not create any such right. It is a nonsense to think it could.”
© 2015 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.