The Workers’ Party Central Executive Committee has welcomed the publication, by the government, of the wording for the forthcoming referendum on Marriage Equality and promised to campaign vigorously for a Yes vote.
Michael Donnelly, president of the Workers’ Party stated: “This referendum is long overdue. It peels back one further layer of repression from our constitution and our laws. It is another small step in moving this country from a theocracy to a democracy”.
“The lives of thousands of people in this state have been blighted due to prejudice, intolerance and legislation based on the sexual morality of one faith group being incorporated into the constitution. It is intolerable that this discrimination still exists today and therefore we ask the government to finalise the date for the referendum without delay”.
“Human rights,” concluded Michael Donnelly “are not a zero-sum game. This referendum will not diminish or detract from any existing rights. Instead it will extend very basic human rights to a presently excluded minority. By ending discrimination it will enrich our entire society”.
Padraig Mannion, campaign director for the Workers’ Party said that the organisation will be mounting a strong campaign to ensure that the referendum is successfully carried.
“It is very positive and reassuring” said Mr Mannion “that the opinion polls show such a clear and consistent majority in favour of marriage equality and in favour of changing the constitution. However electoral contests are not decided by opinion polls, they are decided by the votes of the people on polling day.”
“Those in favour of a Yes vote cannot be complacent. As is already clear the Catholic hierarchy, and lobby groups like the Iona Institute, are opposed to the referendum and will campaign against it. Previous referendums like the Divorce referendum and the Children’s Rights referendum demonstrated how they can run well funded and glibly insidious campaigns. All the Oireachtas parties, and especially the government parties, must be prepared to use their own money and resources to ensure that this referendum campaign is successful, that democracy is vindicated, and that the basic rights of all are constitutionally copper-fastened”.