May 012015

It’s May 1st, 2015 and this month, Ireland will vote in a referendum for or against Marriage Equality.

It is helpful when Ireland’s Prime Minister or Taoiseach is in favour of Marriage Equality.  It is just 21 days until May 22nd when Irish people vote on this issue.  Most polls suggest that it should be a landslide victory for the LGBT community. The son of former Irish President Mary McAleese has come out as a gay man.

Bringing in the Business Community

At an event in Dublin’s Digital Exchange, Ireland’s Taoiseach, Enda Kenny joined 150 business leaders in calling for the public to vote in favor of same-sex marriage in the republic of Ireland.  It is great to have Ireland’s Prime Minister gathering forces for equality.Last December, Kenny was photographed visiting a Dublin gay venue. Pantibar was hosting the Fine Gael LGBT organization’s Christmas party and Kenny dropped in as an ally to show support. It’s believed he is the first, serving Taoiseach to visit a gay bar.
GLEN's Kieron Rose, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Twitter Ireland's Twitter Ireland’s Stephen McIntyreIreland’s Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, joined tech business leaders at a press conference in Dublin in April, 2015 – to speak out in support of equal marriage.

Ireland will hold a referendum on same-sex marriage on 22 May.

Kenny has previously said that his government supports same-sex marriage, but this morning’s conference was designed to highlight the fact that the corporate world also believes it to be the right thing to do.

‘As a government, we have worked hard to restore Ireland’s international reputation as a great place to do business,’ said Kenny, An Taoiseach (the equivalent of Prime Minister).

‘Ireland’s welcoming reputation should extend to being an open, tolerant and compassionate home for our gay and lesbian workers. Civil marriage equality will further promote Ireland as a leading place to work and do business.’

‘It’s a rare thing indeed that we get a chance to go and vote on something that is as unquantifiable and yet as transformative as love, and I hope that we will say ‘yes’ very strongly.’

‘Yes for equal marriage, yes for business, yes for Ireland.’

Business for Yes eventJoining Kenny at the event – which was organized by LGBT advocacy group GLEN – were Twitter Ireland’s Managing Director, Stephen McIntyre, Ann O’Dea, CEO Silicon Republic, among others, and an audience of around 150 representatives from the business world.

‘Innovation is critical to the success of the Tech industry, an industry which is so vital to the Irish economy,’ said O’Dea. ‘The Tech Industry understands the strong link between innovation and diversity and has long supported marriage equality for lesbian and gay couples.’

‘Twitter is supporting a Yes vote because of our company’s commitment to inclusion and the strong business case for marriage equality,’ said McIntyre. ‘We encourage other companies to do likewise.’

The business community is increasingly finding the confidence to speak out in support of LGBT issues and against inequality. Last month, 379 businesses in the US – including Twitter –signed a friend-of-the-court=brief to the US Supreme Court urging it to rule in favour of same-sex marriage across the US.

Last week, more than 100 tech leaders in the US – including CEOs at Twitter, Microsoft and eBay – signed a statement demanding federal LGBT non-discrimination protections.  This is in response to right-wing Republican states denying protection to the LGBT community in the pretence that they are protecting religious rights to gays/lesbians.

Once again, it is the conservative Roman Catholics and evangelicals that are opposed to Marriage Equality in Ireland and the USA.

Freedom and equality will triumph over homophobic religious bigots.





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