Tuesday 20 February 2018

Ireland faces international 'humiliation' if same sex-marriage referendum is rejected - Labour minister

File photo
File photo

Sam Griffin

IRELAND faces international “humiliation” if the same sex-marriage referendum is rejected, a government minister has said.

Aodhan O’Riordain was speaking at the launch of the Trade Unionists for Civil Marriage Equality campaign which calls on workers to support a yes vote. The campaign is supported by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU).

Addressing the crowd, Minister O’Riordain said “what the no side have to their great benefit is fear”. He said the yes campaign is asking people to take “a leap of faith”.

He said supporters of the campaign needed to use fear as well to guarantee a yes vote and added rejecting the referendum will give out a bad message the year before the country celebrates the centenary anniversary of the 1916 Rising.

Read More: Justice Minister: 'There has already been fear-stoking in marriage equality debate'

“I want everybody in this room to think what it is going to feel like the day after a no vote and how humiliating that is going to feel as an Irish person,” he said tonight.

“The message that is going to send out to the world the year before we celebrate the 1916 Rising commemoration that we don’t really believe, when we were asked, we don’t really believe in equality.”

Mr O’Riordain, who is minister of State at the department of Justice, also said people must consider the impact a no vote will have on young gay and lesbian people around the country.

Also speaking at the event was National Union of Journalists general secretary Seamus Dooley and Siptu’s Ethel Buckley.

ICTU President John Douglas said: ”There can be no such thing as a two tier system of equality and LGBT citizens deserve full and equal treatment.”

Online Editors

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