The Clare Labour Party kicks off its campaign for a yes vote in the forthcoming same-sex marriage referendum with a public information meeting in Treacy’s West County Hotel this Friday night at 8 pm.
Orla Howard, a Kilrush native and deputy chairperson of the national Yes Equality campaign group, Labour Party Deputy for Dublin North West, John Lyons and local Deputy Michael McNamara will address the key issues in relation to the referendum.
The cabinet has approved wording for the referendum on Friday May 22 to allow couples of the same gender to marry in the eyes of the State.
Citizens will be asked to vote, yes or no to the following change to the constitution “marriage may be contracted in accordance with the law by two persons without distinction to as to their sex”.
While the campaign to change the constitution is supported by the main parties, the first to get the ball rolling in Clare is Labour, who are launching their campaign with a public information meeting this Friday, March 20th.
Deputy Labour Party chairman and director of the referendum campaign in Clare, Seamus Ryan said referenda promoting and enhancing the civic, social and equality rights of citizens are the hallmark of the Labour Party and its commitment to the creation of a kinder and more tolerant society.
“It is important that all the civic society groups and political parties that have said that they support this overdue extension of equality to loving couples now put in the time and energy necessary to get this change over the line,” he said.
Mr Ryan also warned of outside political agendas which have already attempted to hijack referendum events in other counties.
“We have seen some meetings where campaigners are forcibly raising issues not related to the referendum at information meetings, this should not be tolerated as changes to the constitution are among the most important part of our democratic process as they are so long lasting.”
Mr Ryan issued an open invitation to all members of the public to attend the meeting to have their questions and queries answered as he believes a lot of misinformation exists on the subject.
“There are a determined core of people who oppose the Marriage Equality referendum and have been spreading erroneous information on the consequences of a yes vote, particularly in the area of adoption & children, this must be countered as in the instance outlined above the adoption of children by gay parents will be made lawful under the Children and Family Services Bill before the referendum takes place and will not be effected by its outcome,” he added.