Wednesday 18 October 2017

Taoiseach: I've travelled my own personal journey in order to support 'Yes' vote

Mr Kenny said he has been touched by some of the stories he has heard in recent weeks.
Mr Kenny said he has been touched by some of the stories he has heard in recent weeks.

Niall O'Connor, Political Correspondent

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny says he had to travel on a "personal journey" in order to support a 'yes' vote in the upcoming Marriage Equality referendum.

Mr Kenny today appealed to voters to "open their hearts" and vote yes on May 22 because "equal marriage is about the everyday lives of ordinary men and women."

Speaking at the launch of the Fine Gael campaign for marriage equality, Mr Kenny said he has been touched by some of the stories he has heard in recent weeks.

He said there are people who still have "entrenched views", including individuals in his own party, who are still coming to terms with accepting the extension of the right of marriage to gay people.

But Mr Kenny said delivering a yes vote is important for equality.

"I have had to travel my own personal journey to believing in and campaigning for marriage equality...I saw and understood their desire and demand for equality," he said.

But the Taoiseach all but ruled out taking part in live television debates, saying he does not want the campaign to be politicised.

The campaign launch in Dublin's Gaiety Theatre also heard from Health Minister Leo Varadkar who said he will be "devastated" if the referendum falls.

Mr Varadkar, who came out as a gay man in January, said a 'no' result would be worse than losing an election or losing his seat in Dublin West.

Cork TD Jerry Buttimer, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald also spoke in support fora yes vote.

"This is a once in a life time choice," Ms Fitzgerald said.

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