Thursday 18 January 2018

Tanaiste warns complacency among campaigners risks scuppering 'Yes' vote for marriage equality

Tanaiste Joan Burton
Tanaiste Joan Burton
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

Tanaiste Joan Burton has warned complacency among campaigners risks scuppering a 'Yes' vote in the upcoming marriage equality referendum.

But the Labour leader also dismissed suggestions certain TDs - particularly in provincial areas - are not getting actively involved in the campaign because they are not fully committed to it.

"Every referendum comes down to voters having to make individual decisions as to what's best for the country," she said.

"We're putting in a very strong campaign to make sure the message goes out to people that the referendum proposal will be a good thing for Ireland.

"The feedback is very strong - but I wouldn't like to be complacent," she told

"My long experience of referenda, shows that you have to explain, explain, and explain again, the argument in favour of changing the constitution.

"In this case we're not amending anything in the existing constitution. We're inserting an additional sentence to provide for the right to civil marriage for two people irrespective of their sex.

"But I would be very confident from the feedback so far.

"We will campaign right up to when the votes are cast."

She also refuted suggestions certain TDs on both sides of the coalition have failed to get actively involved in campaigning, because of their own prejudices.

"I haven't seen that problem. We have a very big presence of rural TDs, and we've had detailed discussions in the parliamentary party going back a number of years, and they have all been extremely supportive."

Ms Burton was speaking at a public forum on Marriage Equality in her Dublin West constituency this evening.

She was joined at the event by a number of noted activists for the Yes campaign, including Labour TD John Lyons, Independent Senator Katherine Zappone and her partner, Dr Ann Louise Gilligan.

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