Strong Support for Marriage Equality in President Obama's Inauguration Address

22 Jan 2013

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Today, Marriage Equality have welcomed US President Barack Obama’s second inaugural address, in which he again called for equality for same sex couples and families. Speaking at the inauguration yesterday, the President said: “Until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.” The President had previously announced his support for marriage equality in May 2012 during a televised interview.

"We are delighted to hear President Obama reiterate his support for marriage equality for same sex couples in the United States," said Moninne Griffith, Director of Marriage Equality. "Yesterday's statement shows his continued moral leadership on this vital issue for couples across the US who want the freedom to choose to marry the person they love, and have their relationships recognised and protected on an equal footing to heterosexual couples."

Back in Ireland, yesterday also saw Kilkenny County Council join a growing number of councils passing motions in support of civil marriage for same sex couples.

"This is a wonderful step by Kilkenny County Council to raise awareness of this important issue at a local level. We'd like to thank all councillors involved for their initiative, and our supporters in Kilkenny who spoke to their councillors over the last few months about raising the issue," added Ms Griffith. "Marriage equality is not just a national issue, it's a local one. It's about respecting and protecting loving couples and families who are part of our communities and treating them as equal. That is why putting the issue on the agenda at local level is so important."

Popular support for marriage equality currently stands at 73%, and all political parties have committed themselves to marriage equality in some shape or form, including the Government's promise to look at the provision of same sex marriage in the upcoming Constitutional Convention. Marriage Equality have called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to join world leaders such as President Obama, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande to express his support for marriage equality.

“Party leaders such as Micheál Martin, Eamon Gilmore and Gerry Adams are all on record with their support,” noted Ms Griffith. “We are looking for political leadership from our Taoiseach on this issue of huge social significance to make sure the marriage ban for same sex couples is removed, and the Government commits itself to equality for same sex couples, our families and our children."