Every vote counts for an Ireland of equality and inclusion

Equality photo

Posted on: 7th April, 2015

Category: Highlights

Contributor: West Cork People

Above: YesEqualityClon is the Clonakilty branch of the national campaign for Civil Marriage Equality, which is an independent nationwide civic society campaign working to secure a Yes vote in the Marriage Equality Referendum on May 22, 2015.

March saw the official launch of the Clonakilty branch of the Yes Equality Campaign. This campaign for Civil Marriage Equality is an independent nationwide civic society campaign, working to secure a Yes vote in the Marriage Equality Referendum on May 22. The Clonakilty branch is joined by hundreds of other similar groups in towns and cities around the country.

“We are extremely proud to be part of this very positive campaign,” commented one of the organisers, Katey Sleeman. “This is an historic opportunity for the people of Ireland, and indeed Clonakilty. We need to bring an end to the feeling of exclusion that some members of our communities still feel.”

“It is really about acknowledging that we all are entitled to celebrate the love we have for another human being in marriage, whether gay or straight,” said another organiser, Mark Holland. “Gay couples should be afforded the same right to marry as a straight couple. If love doesn’t discriminate, then why should our countries’ laws?” continued Mark.

Marie, a participant at the launch, was there with her husband and four children. “We have an opportunity to make the future for our children kinder and more equal. Which of us know who our children will grow up to be? I, as a mother, want my children, whether they are gay or straight, to be permitted by law to marry the person they love. I don’t want my children to grow up in a society that tells them that some people are lesser than others, that somebody’s relationship and love is somehow inferior,” said Marie.

With the most recent polls looking like there is a very healthy majority in favour of the referendum on May 22, another of the organisers, Demelza Kirwan, says there is no room for complacency.

“We are indeed encouraged by the recent polls, but we must not assume that the referendum will be passed. “Every single vote matters, so please get to the polling stations on May 22, and vote YES’, she urged.

“We all have an opportunity to make a lasting difference. A difference that we can be proud to have been part of and one that we can tell our grandchildren about,” she concluded.

“Clonakilty is such a fantastic vibrant town, ready to take on any challenge or endeavour,” said Mark to the people gathered. “So I’m throwing down the gauntlet. Let’s show the rest of the country that Clonakilty can return the highest YES vote,” he joked.

At the end of the launch, the YES Equality group posed for a photograph and waved their balloons and posters buoyed by the opportunity to be part of a monumental leap forward into an Ireland of equality and inclusion.

If you want to get involved in the campaign in Clonakilty or Cork contact Clonakilty: yesequalityclon@gmail.com / Facebook: EqualityYesClon; Yes Equality Cork: 8 North Mall. Cork. YesEqualtyCork.com; Cork Campaign Director: 087 2474405, Campaign Co-ordinater 087 1336193

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Lecture by Aileen Crean O’Brien & Bill Sheppard

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