An estimated crowd of nearly six thousand people marched through Dublin City centre yesterday in support of Marriage Equality and the introduction for full marriage for same sex couples.
March for Marriage, now in its fourth year, was organised by the LGBT Noise group in conjunction with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). The march’s aim is to highlight the core differences between civil partnership and civil marriage, and the discrimination felt by same sex couples and their children.
Speaking to the University Observer following the event, USI President John Logue praised the the support and turnout for the march. “It’s also great seeing a huge student turnout today, I think that’s an intergenerational thing, students regardless of their allies or membership to the LGBT clubs are very much in favour of this, a recent survey in UCD found that ninety one percent of students in Ireland are in favour of marriage equality, so I think that now is the time that we make a move in this country.
“The USI’s next step in the campaign involves an ‘ally week’ coming up on the first week of September, and is basically going to involve any person who is in favour of marriage equality who is not a member of the LGBT community … symbolising their unity with one aim. We’re going to be spreading it to all the colleges across the country.”
Logue urges students to lobby their TDs, a view shared by UCD Students’ Union President, Rachel Breslin: “We’re planning to work more on the political side, because if you have so many people who are showing that they fully and completely support it, you take that to your TDs and tell them this is what’s happening for the next generation. They are willing to come out, take time out of their day and march with their family and friends and with the goal of full marriage equality. The USI have started a website, tellyourtd.com, and we are going to have to start telling our TDs. As LGBT Noise have said, it’s all about TDs who could lobby this tomorrow, and we have to win their hearts and minds”.
LGBT noise also lobby on a wide variety of issues facing the LGBT community. Anna McCarthy, one of the organisers of the march, discussed the upcoming events of the group: “We’re taking part in the Transgender Europe conference in September, we’re going to be launching a video on trans rights, obviously campaigning a lot on the gender recognition legislation which will be in effect before the end of the year.”
The group, founded in 2007, also plans to campaign against Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act, which allows institutions such as schools and hospitals to hire according to the ethos of the religion in question, enabling discrimination against LGBT applicants.