Kenny jpg

Kenny says Ireland has made history


Taoiseach Enda Kenny was able to brief Ban Ki-moon first hand on the result of the same sex marriage referendum. The United Nations Secretary General is in Ireland to receive the Tipperary Peace Award. Photocall

By Irish Echo Staff
letters@irishecho.com

Ireland made history.
That’s the view of Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the aftermath of last Friday’s referendum vote clearing the way for same sex marriage in the Republic.

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

Following the vote, the Oireachtas will now draw up legislation that will lead to a new amendment being inserted in the Constitution that recognizes and protects the institution of marriage without regard to sexual orientation.

Prior to the referendum, same sex civil unions were recognized in the Republic but not full marriage which, as an institution, is formally protected by the Constitution.

Once the Dáil and Seanad complete their part in the process, the enabling legislation will be signed by President Michael D. Higgins.

Mr. Kenny said he welcomed the result of the vote and he thanked all those who voted in the referendum.

“In the privacy of the ballot box they made a public statement,” he said

The ‘Yes’ vote had “disclosed who we are - a generous, compassionate, bold and joyful people. Yes to inclusion. Yes to generosity. Yes to love, and
Yes to equal marriage.”

Continued Mr. Kenny: “The people have answered the call of families and friends, of neighbors and new acquaintances.

“Of Jack O’Rourke and Edel Tierney, Finian Curran and Allie Kershaw and Jerry, Leo, Pat and so many others. It was their stories and their voices that inspired the hearts and minds of the Irish people.

“Our people have truly answered Ireland's Call.

“The referendum was about inclusiveness and equality, about love and commitment being enshrined in the constitution. For a significant proportion who voted against the amendment it was because of genuinely held views which are to be respected.

“The decision makes every citizen equal and will strengthen the institution of marriage for all existing and future marriages. All people now have an equal future to look forward to.

“So – the people went to the polls. It passed. The answer is yes. Yes to their future. Yes to their love. Yes to their equal marriage.

That yes is heard loudly across the living world as a sound of pioneering leadership of our people and hopefully across the generations of gay men and women born as we say, before their time. The people have spoken. They have said yes. Ireland – thank you.”