Friday 28 October 2016

Don't take the outcome of poll for granted, says Eamon Gilmore


THE former Tanaiste, Eamon Gilmore, has warned supporters of same-sex marriage that complacency is the biggest danger facing the campaign for a Yes vote.

Mr Gilmore, who once described same-sex marriage as "the civil rights issue of our generation", said that there was a "real danger… that those people who are fine with same-sex marriage wouldn't necessarily go out and vote".

"I think the biggest danger is complacency," he said.

"[Our] polls are telling us that [the vote] will be tight and that the poll may be low.

"It is immediately possible that those who are highly motivated to block this referendum from passing may prevail in circumstances were there's a low poll."

The former Labour leader appealed to Yes voters not to take the outcome for granted.

Mr Gilmore said the referendum was needed so that gay couples could have the same rights as other couples. The Dun Laoghaire TD said no one was seeking to redefine marriage, rather to extend it to everyone in Ireland and that it would not affect children.

"It's essentially about equality," he said. "It's essentially about saying to people that the love of a same-sex couple is no less valid that the love of any other couple."


He warned that polls conducted for the Labour party showed the outcome of the same-sex referendum may be a lot closer than expected.

The former Labour leader told listeners to Morning Ireland that the Government received legal advice that to pass legislation for same-sex marriage would be "unconstitutional".

The veteran politician announced his resignation as Labour leader last May in the wake of huge losses for his party at the local and European elections.

He announced his departure ahead of a motion of no confidence being tabled by eight parliamentary party members.

Mr Gilmore has kept a relatively low profile since stepping down as leader, but the same-sex marriage campaign has been seen to give him renewed vigour in canvassing for a Yes vote.


Read Andrew Lynch, P14

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