White Welcomes Yes Vote In Marriage Equality Referendum
By extending the rights and responsibilities of marriage we have made an enormous statement – to ourselves and to the world – that Ireland is a modern, generous and inclusive country that values all its citizens equally. I am particularly pleased that my own constituency provided such a clear endorsement for marriage equality, with 49,109 people in Dublin South voting yes to the proposal put before them, the highest number of yes votes of any constituency.
At the end of a very comprehensive and largely respectful debate about the issues, we have a clear result that unites us all – gay and straight, young and old, rural and urban.
I want to acknowledge the contribution of former Labour leader Eamon Gilmore, whose determination ensured that the question was put to the country. This would not have been achieved without his foresight and commitment, which was reflected in the Labour Party’s very active support of YES Equality, which successfully mobilised hundreds of people across Dublin South who had never before been involved in a political campaign.
I thank the ‘No’ campaign for its gracious acknowledgement of the outcome and I want to once again assure those who had doubts about marriage equality that Friday’s decision will have no negative effects on existing marriages and families.