The Tánaiste Joan Burton has made a short video for Vote With Us asking viewers to vote with us on Marriage Equality. In the video the Tánaiste talks about a woman she met recently who wants what every Irish parent wants for their child, to be a full and equal citizen in their own country.
We'll share more videos from our Labour reps over the coming weeks as they explain why they're voting Yes in the forthcoming referendum.
(Vote with us is compiling videos from people from all over Ireland, and abroad, who want to share the reasons why they’ll vote YES for equal marriage on May 22nd.)
This morning the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore speaking at an event organised by GLEN and hosted by Google in Dublin, linked progress for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to the progress Ireland needs to rebuild its economy.
“Ireland today is a modern outward-looking society, our progress is not complete. There is still work to do... Economic progress has to be embedded in a free, open, progressive society. We have to construct new ways to build our vision of society where social solidarity and prosperity go hand in hand,” the Tánaiste said.
Over the weekend the Constitutional Convention met to discuss marriage equality and on Sunday a vote was taken which recommended the holding of a referendum on same sex marriage. Ahead of the Constitutional Convention Deputy John Lyons wrote a piece for the Sun on the convention and below you can read an extract from that article.
The love and commitment that lesbian and gay couples have for each other is the same as that of other couples. We’ve seen that through the more than 1,000 civil partnerships that have taken place all across Ireland since they became available in 2011. Lesbian and gay couples having a civil partnership make the same vows to love, cherish and support each other that couples who can marry do.
The Civil Registration (Marriage Equality) Bill will remove a specific reference to gender from the legislation that faciltiates civil marriages.
Speaking about the Bill Cllr Eoin Holmes said: "Gay and lesbian people in Ireland have been to the fore in bringing about social change through their courage in coming forward and bring true to themselves." He called on voters in the Meath East byelection to vote for a 'more modern, liberal and tolerant Ireland' by giving their support to Labour.
Today five of our Parliamentary Labour Party members, Ivana Bacik, Dominic Hannigan, Ciara Conway and John Lyons published an amendment to the Employment Equality Act 1998, which is aiming to end discrimination in schools and hospitals that are under religious patronage. This amendment will be put before the Seanad on the 13th of March, and we then hope to receive the support of Minister Shatter and the entire government.
With Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore at the helm, Ireland has secured its first ever seat on the UN Human Rights Council.
Securing one of three of seats on the council reserved for western countries, Ireland faced competition from Sweden and Greece, yet won the seat receiving 124 votes, only seven fewer than the US and three fewer than Germany.
Welcoming the result, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said, "I am delighted and proud that Ireland has been elected to the UN Human Rights Council for the period 2013-15. This comes at the end of a hard-fought campaign which saw us pitted against four formidable competitors in our group, and I also want to congratulate the United States and Germany for also securing election.
Announcing today that same-sex marriage is to be included for consideration by the Constitutional Convention, the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said he believes in gay marriage and that our laws are out of step with public opinion.
"I don't believe that it should ever be the role of the State to pass judgement on whom a person falls in love with, or whom they want to spend their life with. That is why the issue of same-sex marriage is to be included for consideration by the Constitutional Convention. I believe in gay marriage. The right of gay couples to marry is, quite simply, the civil rights issue of this generation, and, in my opinion, its time has come."
This evening we talked to Minister Kathleen Lynch, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Department of Justice, Equality & Defence about her first year in office. You can see what she said in the accompanying video.
Labour Equality held its biannual national conference on Saturday last in the Mansion House in Dublin. The conference was divided into two parts, with the morning taking the form of addresses by a panel of speakers, followed by a questions and answers session, whilst the afternoon was the formal affairs of setting the policy agenda of Labour Equality and electing a new committee to take the section forward.