The campaign to #makegrathelaw was launched this morning in the city centre, reports Áine O'Connell.
The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) launched their “Students for Marriage Equality” campaign this morning at Wood Quay, Dublin. The campaign has been launched to help secure a “Yes” vote in the upcoming marriage equality referendum, slated to take place in early May.
At the official launch this morning, USI outlined their strategies to ensure a “Yes” vote. They were joined by three young LGBT students who spoke passionately in their belief in marriage equality.
USI Welfare Officer Annie Hoey said that, “this is a student campaign, for students…we need to work together.”
Speakers also highlighted the need to ensure students protect themselves during the coming months - the Union plan to engage students across the island in canvassing training and mental health workshops. Annie Hoey also mentioned the importance of the referendum to bisexuals and for the trans community, saying that, “we must remember…that it’s the LGBTQ community.”
USI president Laura Harmon said that, “Students have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make Ireland more equal in the upcoming referendum on marriage equality. It is clear that students want to live in a more inclusive and egalitarian society. Access to marriage equality is a crucial part of this.”
Speaking to Campus.ie, Harmon said that she was delighted at the positivity shown by the campaign so far. She said that, “It’s important to retain a positive message and respect others’ points of view. We need to stay positive throughout the whole campaign and that will really stand to us.”
Harmon also stressed the need to talk about LGBTQ issues in the coming months, and encouraged students to, “be willing to challenge others in their view”.
USI has registered over 20,000 students to vote since September, and plan to add to this number over the next few months. Many students are re-registered in the areas they’re living for college in order to make the voting process easier.
Launching the USI’s website devoted to the issue, Annie Hoey remarked that, “students are very passionate about this. They’re going to vote yes,” but she discouraged complacency in students, acknowledging that the next few months would be hard for the LGBTQ community.
More information about the USI campaign can be found at voteforlove.ie and on the #MakeGraTheLaw hashtag on Twitter.