PES Welcomes Irish YES to Equality


People demonstrate in Ireland in favour of equal marriage

“This result is yet another example of what we as a Social Democratic family can do when we work together to reduce inequality” said PES President Sergei Stanishev. Today, the people of Ireland have made history by voting YES to same sex marriage. This isn’t something that has just suddenly come about, it has happened because the Irish Labour Party campaigned for a referendum on this issue, and got a commitment to it included in their programme for Government.

Over recent months we have seen examples where conservative forces in some countries have compiled petitions to call for referendums to remove the rights of their fellow citizens. What this result in Ireland shows us is that democracy is not a tool for a majority to oppress a minority, true democracy is when we use our voices and our votes to protect our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters, our nieces and nephews.

Let us take today as an example for all our movements” said PES Deputy Secretary General Marije Laffeber, “if we keep working step by step, issue by issue, towards more equal societies, it may take time, but we will get there.

Today’s result will significantly improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of Irish people and their families, not because of legislation nor litigation, but because friends and family went out to vote and said “Yes, I recognise your love, it is equal.”