Former minister Pat Carey has spoken movingly about his decision to come out as a gay man.
Mr Carey today said it took him over 65 years to "pluck up the courage and confidence" to speak about his sexuality.
The ex-TD told a meeting of the Fianna Fáil that he knows many people "uncomfortable" about extending the right of marriage to gay and lesbian people.
But he said he hopes these concerns can be addressed during the campaign.
"The sky hasn't fallen in with any of the measures we've brought in. It won't fall in this time either,"Mr Carey said.
"I honestly believe we will have a gentler, kinder, more tolerant Ireland if we manage to bring in this measure by a decent majority,"he added.
Mr Carey made the remarks at a session on Marriage Equality at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis in the RDS.
Marie Brady, whose son Tiernan is gay, said excluding a portion of society does not fit in with republican values.
She said she is a Christian and mass goer but that a yes vote is a vote for "love and tolerance".
Wexford councillor Malcolm Byrne, who is also gay, said all he and other gay people is the chance to be happy.
"I ask you for your sons and daughters, your cousins and friends. Please on May 22, vote yes,"he said.
Fianna Fáil justice spokesperson Niall Collins, who is the party's Director of Elections, said it is important to ensure the campaign does not become about issues such as surrogacy.
Senator Averil Power spoke about a 92-year-old grandmother who is now lobbying her friends at bingo to vote yes after her grandson came out.
She said a yes vote will send a powerful signal to young people who are gay that they can grow up in a society that sees them as equal.
In his entertaining and thought-provoking column 'Staying in should really be the new coming out' (Irish Independent, February 23), Billy Keane argues that since straight people do not come out as straight, people who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual should not have to come out either.
When Michael Ryan and Gavin Duffy met in The George bar 16 years ago, Gavin loved Michael's eyes and husky voice and the fact that there was a bit of a wild streak in him. "I really fancied him and found his company refreshing," he says. "To be honest, it was a fling in the beginning, and very passionate, but I fell deeply in love. If he needed a lung or half my heart tomorrow, I wouldn't have to think about it."
Lists run the gamut from the ones people clamour to be on - Schindler's, Santa Claus's - to those that send a shudder down the spine - Senator McCarthy's, anything the HSE ever came up with. Where does a gay power list come into this? We're not that far away from a time when being gay was something of which people were ashamed. Have we really come so far that we can celebrate a group of gay people for their success? Or is the notion of a gay power list in dubious taste?