‘ Yes vote a statement that ‘it’s okay to be gay’ in Ireland’

You might not care about getting married (I don’t) but equal marriage is about a lot more than that. From a piece in the Irish Times:

Saturday’s strong Yes vote is a statement that “it’s okay to be gay” in modern day Ireland, according to Minister for Agriculture and Fine Gael director of elections Simon Coveney.

Mr Coveney said that while the referendum was ostensibly about extending the rights of civil marriage to gay and lesbian people, it was also a statement about Ireland as a country.

“In many ways, the statement that Ireland is making today is that it’s okay to be gay, it’s okay to be who you are, it’s okay to love who you want to love and your country accepts you for who you are.”

And

Meanwhile, leading marriage equality campaigner and Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer has hailed the anticipated Yes victory in the marriage equality referendum as heralding a new era for Irish society.

“It’s a great day and no words can describe what it feels like but what it means is the Irish people in their strength of numbers have said we are all equal, we are all cherished under our constitution.”

“I respect those who vote the other way yesterday but we are a democracy and today we stand on the threshold of a new republic where liberty and equality are the hallmarks of what we stand for.”

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