Sunday 28 May 2017

‘This is not a party political issue, this campaign is much bigger’ – Sinn Fein’s Mary Lou McDonald calls for ‘Yes’ vote in marriage referendum

Mary Lou McDonald
Mary Lou McDonald
Brian O'Reilly

Brian O'Reilly

SINN Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has told voters not to use the upcoming marriage equality referendum as an opportunity to give the government ‘a bloody nose’.

She said the referendum was an opportunity to make Ireland a republic ‘in more than name’.

The TD was speaking to Pat Kenny on Newstalk about the party’s plans for the upcoming referendum.

She said the vote was about a fundamental equality issue, and not a party political issue.

“We’re backing this simply because it is a fundamental equality measure. There is no reason why every citizen shouldn’t enjoy equality in the eyes of the law.

“The fact that gay and lesbian couples are forbidden from marrying is denying them their rights. This is about making this place a republic in more than name.”

She said that the entire Sinn Fein parliamentary party supports a ‘Yes’ vote, and the issue has been debated within the party.

“We’ve had a good debate over a long number of years in these issues in Sinn Fein. This is a matter of  long standing policy.

“This is not a party political issue, this campaign is much bigger. It’s about a fundamental value.”

“It’s a test for the republic and our commitment to inclusion and equality, and the vision and dream of Pearse and Connolly and the signatories of the proclamation.”

Responding to questions on whether anyone who campaigned against the vote would lose the party whip, she said it simply wasn’t an issue in the referendum.

“Well obviously where there are issues or difficulties around party policies we deal with that as a party. But there is no issue on this case.”

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