Historic Victory for Marriage Equality in US Election and Ballots

7 Nov 2012

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Today, Marriage Equality are celebrating after last night's re-election of President Barack Obama, and news that marriage equality had been won by popular vote in Maine and Maryland (with results of a vote in Washington State to be confirmed), and a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality had been blocked in Minnesota.

"Last night's results are a landslide victory for equality," said Marriage Equality Director Moninne Griffith. "American voters believe in marriage equality, and re-elected the first US President to support marriage equality. Americans have made history by voting in favour of marriage equality in Maine and Maryland, and choosing to block the anti-marriage equality amendment to the Minnesota constitution."

Yesterday also saw Spain's highest court declare its marriage equality law constitutional, following a challenge by the ruling party. The French government is also due to begin discussing plans to legislate for marriage equality and adoption by same sex couples.

"Now really is the time for marriage equality," added Ms Griffith. "We want Ireland to lead this movement for equality along with countries like Spain and Portugal, and not fall behind. As the push for equality for same sex couples and families gains momentum in countries like the United States, France and the UK, we call on our own political leaders to make it a reality here too. Irish people want this. Ireland is ready, with a strong majority - 73% - of Irish people who think same sex couples should have the right to marry the person they love. This reflects how Irish people value family, love, commitment and respect for each other. "

Support for marriage equality in Ireland has grown from 58% in 2008 (Lansdowne) to 73% in 2011 (Red C). City, Town and County Councils across Ireland have voted in favour of marriage equality motions, and the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore recently reaffirmed his support for the issue, calling marriage equality "the civil rights issue of the generation."

Ms Griffith also welcomed news that the Constitutional Convention will hold its first meeting on December 1st. "The Constitutional Convention is a huge opportunity for us as a country to take the next step as a modern, democratic country that has respect for diversity and that believes in equality. This is our chance to be leaders when it comes to equality for all, and to enshrine essential Irish values of justice, equality, fairness, and respect for all citizens in the Constitution."