Colin Farrell urges Ireland to vote for marriage equality

By |
November 17, 2014

Irish-born actor Colin Farrell is encouraging the people of Ireland to vote for marriage equality in a nation-wide referendum, which is coming in the early 2015. He published a moving and a very emotional letter about his and his brother Eamon's experiences in the Sunday World newspaper. The actor recalled how his older brother was bullied as a child for being different and as an adult unable to marry he loves in his homeland. Eamon and his partner Steven got married in Canada due to Ireland's law.

Farrell wrote:

That’s why this is personal to me. The fact that my brother had to leave Ireland to have his dream of being married become real is insane. INSANE.

It’s time to right the scales of justice here. To sign up and register to vote next year so that each individual’s voice can be heard.

How often do we get to make history in our lives? Not just personal history. Familial. Social. Communal. Global. The world will be watching. We will lead by example. Let’s lead toward light.

In 2015 the people of Ireland will be asked to vote on marriage equality to replace the current practice of civil partnership. A nation-wide campaign, the YesEquality, encourages Irish people to vote and have their voices heard in favor of marriage equality. The campaign is organized by a coalition of LGBT advocate groups, including GLEN, Marriage Equality, and the ICCL.

Civil partnership was a significant advance and couples across Ireland have registered themselves as partners since 2011. Civil partnership currently grants LGBT couples and families almost all the legal rights but still falls short of full constitutional equality. The new legislation would update parenting and guardianship of children. In other words it will recognize lesbian and gay headed families. Extending civil marriage would make the society better, fairer and more inclusive. 

There has been a great transformation in the status of LGBT people in Ireland over the past two decades. 21 years ago the law reform decriminalized gay people. That was followed by Equality legislation which ensured that people could not be discriminated against in employment on the basis of their sexual orientation. As of today, Ireland is only a step away from the full equality. According to the Irish Times, 67% of the voters are in favor of the same-sex marriage. In the poll, only 20% said no. the rest remains undecided.