25 May 2015
Marriage Equality must now be extended to North
Yes vote 'a good day for Ireland'
THE VICTORY of the Yes campaign in the Marriage Equality was "a good day for Ireland" but Gerry Adams says the right to same-sex marriage must now be extended to the North.
Almost two million citizens voted in the Marriage Equality referendum on Friday which passed with 62% voting in favour of the proposal to extend marriage rights to same sex couples.
There were jubilant scenes at Dublin Castle where a crowd of almost 2,000 people had crowded into the main courtyard to celebrate the result - a scene which was replicated on a smaller scale at count centres throughout the state.
The proposal received the support of the main political parties who supported the broad community based 'Yes Equality' campaign.
United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki Moon hailed the historic result:
"This is truly an historic moment. Ireland has become the first country in the world to approve marriage equality in a nationwide referendum. The result sends an important message to the world; all people are entitled to enjoy their human rights and human dignity, no matter who they are or whom they love."
Welcoming the result, Sinn Féin South Down MLA Cáitríona Ruane said:
"The marriage equality rights that will be enjoyed by Irish citizens in the south must be shared by citizens in the north. Sinn Féin will continue to campaign for marriage equality for all in the North and to end the discrimination against our LGBTI community.”
Attempts by Sinn Féin to introduce marriage equality in the North have been repeatedly blocked by the main unionist parties while the SDLP and Alliance have sat on the fence:
Amnesty International NI director Patrick Corrigan described the North as "the last bastion of discrimination against gay people in these islands" and said the SDLP and Alliance Party "need to get their act together".