Gardaí were called to the NUIG campus yesterday as disputes between gay marriage campaigners escalated.

The students of NUIG are set to vote tomorrow to decide if they want their union to take an official stance on marriage equality.

The Christian Union society, a society that aims to serve Christian students and encourage them in their “walk with Christ”, according to their Facebook page, has produced several posters urging people not to “vote no to our students union promoting homosexual marriage”.

Other posters claim that by gay marriage will “slide into an 'abyss of redefinition' [that] must be prevented at all costs.” This free-wheeling process of redefinition will lead to the legitimisation of polygamy and paedophilic relationships between men and boys according to another poster.

The posters have caused outrage among many NUIG students and a group gathered today to disrupt a Christian Union society stand and as the debate became heated gardaí were called to the campus.

At the time of writing hundreds of students had gathered to stage a peaceful sit-in in support of the motion tabled by the college’s LGBT society after it gathered 500 signatures. Only seven or eight people are there in opposition according to the SU President Sean Kearns.

Speaking to campus about the protest Kearns says:

“It’s great to see students coming together on a political issue. The government talks all the time about the apathy that pervades among students who don’t vote or get politically engaged but today has proven that to be untrue.”

Kearns said that today’s events have largely remained peaceful despite the garda presence and that he expects a huge turn-out for today’s vote. “Though it is only an SU referendum it has garnered national attention and looks set to have significant influence in the wider run-up to the national referendum,” he says. 

Enoch Burke, the auditor of the Christian Union Society, is running for equality officer in today’s SU election.