Sinn Féin Press Office
Ailbhe McLoughlin 0879904574
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 7 MARCH 2015
A republic for all – Marriage Equality
“Is mise Fintan Warfield. Mayor of South Dublin and Sinn Féin Councillor for Greenhills, Templeogue and Firhouse.
“This year, almost 100 years since the proclamation of the provisional government was published, the task of building the Ireland of equals outlined in that document moves forward.
It moves forward because of those who were willing to take a stand, those who risked their lives to say enough was enough.
It moves forward because of those who triumphed over homophobia and criminalisation.
This May the Irish people have an exciting opportunity to say that we value all of our relationships equally.
Sinn Féin are proud to support this referendum and ask that you vote yes to civil marriage equality.
Imagine for one minute the message a yes vote would send to couples who have waited their entire lives to mark on the books of their state, a love for one another.
Imagine the message a yes vote would send to young people having difficulty coming to terms with their sexuality, who perhaps can’t go home after school or college to tell their family or friends who they fancy in class.
Five years ago, I was the 17 year old who looked on at the LGBT poster in school, wondering if I would ever have the self-confidence to come out.
I stand here with the knowledge that my small story is part of a larger, wider LGBT story reflected every day in homes across this island.
I want to commend the work of BeLonG To, Shout Out, and all organisations supporting our young people.
The upcoming referendum on civil marriage equality is an easy task for republicans.
Our politics are the result of decades of resistance to marginalisation and discrimination.
Self-determination is our core demand, not only as a nation, but as diverse communities within that nation.
This referendum was called by the citizens at a constitutional convention.
This is the peoples’ referendum.
Civil marriage equality is about protecting our families, neighbours and friends.
It is about two people making a commitment to share in the ups and the downs of life.
Lesbian and gay people are not alone in our demand for full equality of rights and opportunities, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity or background.
I understand what it feels like to be unequal.
I understand what it feels like to be beaten up for being gay.
Sinn Féin want everyone on this island to have the same opportunity no matter who we are, what we look like, where we’re from or who we love.
It is this spirit of love, of fairness and of justice that underpins our support for marriage equality.
When I read the proclamation, I see myself as a gay man reflected in its sentiment.
In its resolution to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts, I see a real space for the LGBT community.
On May 22nd, take pride in voting yes to civil marriage equality.
Go raibh míle maith agaibh go léir.