On Saturday, 16th May 2015, thousands of volunteers will come together as part of the Yes Equality National Canvas Day to ask the people of Ireland for a Yes vote in the Marriage Referendum. An estimated 80 Yes Equality canvas groups comprising approximately 10,000 people met at 10.45am in city, town and village centres across Ireland to canvas for the remainder of the morning.
Yes Equality has been having conversations about the marriage equality referendum for months. Some of the most moving stories emerging in those conversations have been from fathers speaking about their love for their children and their desire to see all of their children treated equally by the state.
Leading off the national canvas are some of these fathers;
Martin McAleese said, “I appeal to every mother and father, every grandmother and grandfather, to please vote YES so that Ireland’s gay children can be equal citizens in their own country for the very first time. None of us brought our children into the world to be second class citizens.”
Tom Curran said, “Every parent has a duty to protect their child to the very best of their ability. I see the Marriage Referendum as providing every person with an opportunity to safeguard every child’s right to grow up equal in Ireland. Canvassing today will give me the chance to explain to people why I’m voting Yes and hopefully allows me to answer questions people still have.”
Ashok Varadkar said, “Today’s canvas sends a clear message to the children of Ireland, that your mothers and fathers will do everything to protect your future. As a father and grandfather I know the deep desire of parents to ensure their children lead happy and loved lives. This referendum gives us that chance. I hope people act with generosity and vote Yes next Friday.”
Grainne Healy, Yes Equality spokesperson said, “Every evening, thousands of volunteers are canvassing tens of thousands of people all over Ireland. We’re so close to polling day and we are witnessing a historic swell of support for a Yes. Of course, the real mark of the impact of this campaign is voter turnout on May 22. That’s why the national canvas is so critical, we are asking people to exercise their democratic right and vote Yes.”