Members of the Polish community have published an open letter to the people of Ireland asking them to vote Yes in the upcoming Marriage Equality Referendum.
The letter was formally announced in the presence of Senator Averil Power and Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD, Minister of State of the Department of Justice and Equality and Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
Ó Ríordáin said, “The 22nd of May will be a truly historic day for Ireland. I have the hope that the Irish people will extend to same-sex couples the human right to marry the person they love. I am also very happy to see Polish community being active in supporting equality. It is great that they want to take part in a discussion about a future of our country.”
Piotr Gawlik, Chair of Dialogue & Diversity, was an initiator in publishing the letter.
“[A Yes vote] in this referendum will create a more equal and fair society in Ireland, it will also send a powerful message of hope to countries where LGBT rights are neglected,” the letter reads.
“This referendum will also decide about the future and civil right of Polish gays and lesbians who made Ireland their home. As a biggest national minority group, we can’t stay silent. This is a matter of basic equality and human rights.”
According to the Census, the Polish community is the biggest national minority in Ireland with over 120,000 Poles living in Ireland, and Polish being the second most spoken language.
The letter continues, “Many of us are gays and lesbians and in many respects Ireland gives us more rights and better treatment than our own fatherland.”
The letter concludes with a direct appeal to Irish people, “You have the power to decide if love wins this spring. Please vote YES.”
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