Taoiseach's Endorsement of 'Yes' Vote Strongly Welcomed By LGBT Groups

LGBT rights groups strongly welcome Taoiseach Enda Kenny's powerful endorsement of a Yes vote in the upcoming marriage equality referendum on May 22.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny endorsing the Yes vote on RTÉ

The Taoiseach made the comments in his leader’s address at the Fine Gael party annual conference in Castlebar on Saturday night, which was televised on RTÉ.

“I and the Fine Gael party strongly support a yes vote. I believe that this is the right thing to do,” Kenny said.

“And therefore I say to all same-sex couples in our country: this is about you, it’s about your right to say two small words, made up of three simple letters – I do. For you, in your lives together, may they become your letters of freedom.”

LGBT rights group GLEN have welcomed the Taoiseach’s comments and recognise the significance of his strong endorsement.

“It is powerful to hear the Taoiseach of our country endorse the relationships of lesbian and gay people and that it is right for them to have full and equal status as citizens of our republic,” said Kieran Rose, Chair of GLEN.

“When the leader of our country states the case for equality so clearly it sends a clear and positive message to all lesbian and gay people, their parents and families, as well as to all of Ireland, of their full place at the heart of Irish society,” Rose continued.

Introduced by the Party’s first openly gay TD, Jerry Buttimer, the Taoiseach in his leader’s address acknowledged how important for Ireland a Yes vote would be. It would “send a powerful signal internationally that Ireland has evolved into a fair, compassionate nation.”

“Ireland and the Irish people have been on a remarkable journey to equality for lesbian and gay people over the last 25 years. Approaching the centenary of the Rising, the referendum offers lesbian and gay people the chance to become equal citizens for the first time.

“We will do all that we can to ensure that this is a positive campaign which focuses on the value of marriage to everyone in Irish society and how extending access to marriage to lesbian and gay people will strengthen that value. The referendum, if carried, will complete the remarkable 25-year journey to Constitutional equality for lesbian and gay people in Ireland,” concluded Rose.

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

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