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Saturday 17 March 2018

Eamon Gilmore: 'Don't just say yes to equality, go out and vote for it'

Eamon Gilmore
Eamon Gilmore Newsdesk Newsdesk

Former Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has warned that complacency is the biggest danger facing the campaign for marriage equality.

Mr Gilmore, who famously described same-sex marriage as “the civil rights issue of our generation”, said that there was a “real danger… that those people who are fine with same-sex marriage wouldn’t necessarily go out and vote.”

Read More: May 22 vote asks us to embrace the notion all citizens are equal

“I think the biggest danger is complacency,” he told Morning Ireland. “[Our] polls are telling us that [the vote] will be tight and that the poll may be low.”

“It is immediately possible that those who are highly motived to block this referendum from passing may prevail in circumstances were there’s a low poll,” he warned.

Read More: RTE stands by its demand that Minister remove 'Yes' pin on TV

The former Labour leader appealed to Yes voters to not take the outcome for granted, "Ensure it passes. Don’t leave it to other people.”

Mr Gilmore said the referendum was needed to so that gay couples could have the same rights as straight ones.

Read More: 'Silent No': Fears of shock defeat in marriage referendum grow

The Dun Laoghaire TD said no one was seeking to redefine marriage, rather to extend it to everyone in Ireland.

“It’s essentially about equality. It’s essentially about saying to people that the love of a same-sex couple is no less valid that the love of any other couple,” he said.

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