Longford LGBT have welcomed the announcement that a referendum on same-sex marriage is to be held in 2015.
At a recent Cabinet meeting, the findings of the Constitutional Convention were taken on board, as a referendum before mid-2015 was decided on.
A further boost to the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender) community in Ireland came in the form of An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, who announced his support for the referendum, stating that he will campaign for it to be carried.
Longford LGBT welcomed both news of the referendum and Mr Kenny’s support, saying;
“The passing of this referendum will ensure that same sex couples can have their relationships recognised by The State in the same way as their heterosexual siblings, friends, and colleagues.
“We in Longford LGBT see the passing of the upcoming referendum as a vital step on the road to social equality for the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender people of this region and the country as a whole.”
Though the referendum is a huge step forward for the LGBT community, members of the Longford group hope that its effect may go beyond legal equality and help to decrease discrimination and homophobia, explaining that the passing of this referendum would “provide a strong boost towards getting over the final and perhaps more difficult hurdle of social equality for LGBT people.”
“The introduction of civil marriage for same-sex couples will benefit all LGBT people and not just those in relationships. It will help provide normalisation and further social integration for people that are gay or lesbian.”
Though the group admits that Ireland has come a long way in the past 20 years, they explain that there is still further to go, adding that the passing of this referendum would “strengthen and enhance the institution of civil marriage by recognising the rich tapestry of families and relationships existing on the ground. It will accept the reality that same-sex couples have loving, caring relationships, many with children, [and] deserve the same legal recognition and protection as heterosexual couples.”