A few months ago, this website caught my eye and I was impressed by its clear and simple message: working to secure equal marriage rights for same-sex couples in Ireland. So I caught up with the folks behind the website and asked for a bit more information about their background and future goals. The rest is in their own words and I think you’ll be interested in reading on.
Marriage Equality is a single-issue not for profit national grass roots organisation working for equal marriage rights for same sex couples in Ireland. Although the government has recently introduced the Civil Partnership legislation, we estimate that there are approximately 300 differences between the rights and protections given to married heterosexual couples and those given to same sex civil partners. Among the most important of these are protections for children and families, which are currently not given to same sex parents and their families.
When marriage equality is achieved in Ireland, same sex couples across the country will finally have their relationships recognised on an equal footing with opposite-sex couples. They and their children will have the same rights and responsibilities, and their relationships will be recognised as having the same value.
We are Marriage Equality:
- We are different ages, nationalities and genders
- We come from all over Ireland, from many different backgrounds
- We are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and heterosexual
- We all believe in equality
- We all believe in the right to marry the person you love
- We all believe in the right to have a family, because…
- We all believe in love
What we do:
Since our launch in 2008, we have:
- Developed a significant media presence, and increased the volume of media coverage on the issue of marriage equality across all forms of media.
- Reached a significant supporter base across social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
- Created and promoted our viral video, Sinead’s Hand, with over 330,000 views on YouTube
- Launched many groundbreaking reports, including “Making the case for MarriagEquality in Ireland”, “It’s No Joke”, and “Voices of Children”, as well as many legal submissions and analyses of developing legislation and policy
- Hosted conferences and events with local and international leaders in the marriage equality movement
- Piloted and launched the “Out to your TD” grass roots awareness raising initiative supporting individuals to contact their local politicians about the issue and call on them to bring about positive change
- Continuously encouraged the mobilization of the LGBT community and our supporters, at Pride festivals and other events to raise awareness of equal access to marriage for same sex couples in Ireland
What we’ve got planned:
We still have a lot of work to do before marriage equality becomes a reality in Ireland. Civil Partnership may grant same sex couples some rights and obligations heretofore not enjoyed, but it does not treat same sex couples and our families equally. Until everyone has access to equal marriage rights, same sex couples, their families and their children will continue to experience prejudice, stigma and fewer rights than other families. With the continued support of people all over Ireland who believe that everyone deserves to be equal, we are confident that one day soon marriage equality will become a reality.
In the coming months, here are some of the things we have planned:
The Big Apple Raffle – for just €10, you can be in with a chance to win a two-night trip for two to New York City, a luxury two-night break at the Radisson Blu Farnham Estate, or a night away at the Oriel House in Cork.
Social Media – We will continue to develop our social media presence, and use it to engage with our supporters across the country, to keep them informed of upcoming events, policy developments and worldwide news.
New viral video – Following the success of Sinead’s Hand, we will be commissioning a new video to promote Marriage Equality, our work, and the importance of equal marriage rights for LGBT people in Ireland and their families.
Increased mobilisation campaign – With the upcoming general election, our Out To Your TD campaign will focus on the continued, urgent need for equal marriage rights for same sex couples in Ireland, despite the enactment of the Civil Partnership Act earlier this summer.
Countdown to KAL case – This landmark case is due to be heard by the Supreme Court in early 2011. We plan to feature developments in the case on our website, including live-blogging from the courts, and a continuous Twitter feed to keep supporters updated on developments and proceedings.
And much more!
For more information on Marriage Equality, visit us online:
Our website: www.marriagequality.ie
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/marriagequality
On Twitter: www.twitter.com/marriagequality
On YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/mequality