Monday 5 December 2016

WATCH: Aidan Gillen calls for a yes vote in marriage referendum - 'Vote yes for children'

Published 01/05/2015 | 07:46

Aidan Gillen
Aidan Gillen
Actor Aidan Gillen and author Roddy Doyle backstage at the interval at Barrytown Meets Musictown at Vicar Street
Sophie Turner and Aidan Gillen in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones star Aidan Gillen has called for a yes vote in the upcoming marriage equality referendum on May 22.

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In a video posted to YouTube, he lays out the reasons why he will vote yes and calls on the rest of the country to follow suit.

"I'm voting yes to marriage equality and I hope that you will vote along with me," he said, before initially addressing the issue of children raised with same-sex parents.

"There's been a lot of talk about children in relation to this vote so I think it's really important to remember that organisations such as the ISPCC, Barnardos, and Childline, organisations which have made it their life's work to listen to and protect children are calling for a yes vote."

He continued, "Another thing to remember is that same sex couples have been raising children in Ireland for years.  These families already exist and they will continue to exist even if the referendum is defeated.

"Some of those children from those families are now teenagers and adults who are also calling for a yes vote.  Vote yes for children, for the children of same sex parents so their families might be recognised as equal under the law.

"Vote yes for every LGBT child growing up in Ireland, for their future.  Young LGBT people, when asked what a yes vote in the referendum will mean to them, used words like hope, safety, validation, respect, security.

"They used phrases such as 'hope for the future', 'more comfortable living in my own country', and it basically means 'peace of mind'."

Gillen, who previously played a gay man in hit UK series Queer as Folk continued to explain what a no vote would mean.

"When asked what a no vote would mean to them they used words like terrified, alienated, uncomfortable, afraid, damaging, upsetting. And phrases like, 'I would be devastated, 'a thought of it ending in a no vote is terrifying'.

"The outcome of this referendum will have a massive impact on the lives of countless LGBT around Ireland and the people who love them.  let's make that impact a positive one. Vote yes on May 22."

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