Marriage Equality urges TDs and Senators to commit to equality for same sex couples and their families
26 Jul 2011
Civil Partnership is not the same as civil marriage - that is the message Marriage Equality is reiterating to TDs and Senators as they head off on their summer holidays, as part of its re-launched "Out to your TD" campaign packs.
The campaign, originally launched in 2008, has had great success in raising awareness on the issue of civil marriage for same sex couples. It calls on supporters to visit their TDs, share their stories, and demand that the political system ends discrimination and inequality and instead treats same-sex couples equally with heterosexual couples.
"In the 3 years since it was launched, the Out to your TD lobbying campaign has seen huge successes," said Moninne Griffith, Director of Marriage Equality. "Our aim in relaunching the campaign is to target the new TDs who would not have been contacted before, whilst working with supportive TDs to make sure the issue of marriage equality is not dropped from the political agenda. A recent survey showed that 67% of same sex couples based their vote in the General Election on a political party's position on marriage equality, and 73% of the general public are in favour of marriage equality. Our Out to your TD lobbying campaign is about urging the Government to listen to the will of the people on this important issue, and make marriage equality a reality for same sex couples in Ireland."
Between June 2008 and January 2010 Marriage Equality volunteers and supporters contacted nearly half of all the TDs in Dáil Eireann. The lobbying efforts of Marriage Equality informed the debate on civil partnerships and also ensured that commitments to full equality were included in some party manifestos launched during the 2011 General Election.
"We want to clear up any misconceptions TDs or Senators may have around Civil Partnerships and civil marriage," added Ms Griffith. "Feedback from our supporters indicates that some politicians feel that equality has been achieved with the passing of the Civil Partnership legislation, and that's just not the case. Our forthcoming Marriage Audit has identified over 140 discrepancies between Civil Partnership and civil marriage - many of these affect children and families. Discrimination still exists, and we're asking TDs and Senators to commit to equality for same sex couples, our families and our children in the life-time of this Government."
Marriage Equality had previously welcomed this Government's commitment to establish a Constitutional Convention to consider, amongst other issues, the provision of marriage equality for same sex couples The campaign group has pledged to fully engage with the Constitutional Convention, which is to report within 12 months on the legislative and/or constitutional options to provide for same-sex marriage.
PDF versions of the "Out to your TD" lobbying pack are available to download from http://www.marriagequality.ie/getinvolved/tdcampaign/downloadtdpack.html