Aidan Gillen makes video plea for same-sex marriage Yes vote
GAME of Thrones star Aidan Gillen has made a passionate plea for a Yes vote in the marriage equality referendum.
"I'm voting yes to marriage equality and I hope that you will vote along with me," he said in an online video before addressing the issue of children raised with same-sex parents.
Gillen responds to No vote campaigners who have argued that children raised by gay couples will be denied the chance to grow up with a mother or a father.
"There's been a lot of talk about children in relation to this vote, so I think it's really important to remember that organisations such as the ISPCC, Barnardos and Childline - organisations which have made it their life's work to listen to and protect children - are calling for a Yes vote," said Gillen (47).
"Another thing to remember is that same-sex couples have been raising children in Ireland for years. These families already exist and they will continue to exist even if the referendum is defeated.
"Some of those children from those families are now teenagers and adults who are also calling for a Yes vote. Vote Yes for children, for the children of same-sex parents, so their families might be recognised as equal under the law.
"Vote Yes for every LGBT child growing up in Ireland, for their future.
"Young LGBT people, when asked what a Yes vote in the referendum will mean to them, used words like hope, safety, validation, respect, security.
"They used phrases such as 'hope for the future', 'more comfortable living in my own country', and it means 'peace of mind'."
Love/Hate star Gillen, who previously played a gay man in hit series Queer as Folk (left), continued to explain what a No vote would mean.
"When asked what a No vote would mean to them they used words like terrified, alienated, uncomfortable, afraid, damaging, upsetting," he said.
"And phrases like 'I would be devastated', 'a thought of it ending in a No vote is terrifying'.
"The outcome of this referendum will have a massive impact on the lives of countless LGBT around Ireland and the people who love them. Let's make that impact a positive one. Vote Yes on May 22."