SIPTU in Limerick to push for marriage equality ‘yes’ vote

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Paul Gavan, Padraig O'Loughlin, Frank McDonnell, Suzanna Griffin and Mary McElligott all in attendance at SIPTU's Limerick District Council to back a yes vote in the forthcoming referendum
THE local branch of one of the country’s biggest unions has given its support for a yes vote in the marriage equality referendum.

THE local branch of one of the country’s biggest unions has given its support for a yes vote in the marriage equality referendum.

SIPTU’s Limerick district council will urge its members to vote yes to marriage equality at May’s referendum.

It follows a presentation by Suzanna Griffin, the vice-president of SIPTU’s public administration and community division.

Paul Gavan, the secretary of SIPTU’s Limerick District Council said they will be putting up posters at workplaces where they are the recognised union.

“We will be putting up posters across workplaces in both Limerick City and County where we have almost 8,000 members. We will be encouraging our members to have conversations about the referendum, and tabling the topic for discussion at local meetings. Above all we will be asking our fellow workers, friends and families to go out and vote yes on polling day,” he confirmed.

Ms Griffin, who is also a member of the union’s national equality committee, added: “Equality is a core value of the Trade Union movement and winning this referendum will ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)-identifying workers will stand a better chance of being valued as equal citizens. There are other legislative changes and societal efforts needed to fully ensure LGBT workers are treated with dignity and respect, but that’s true too for all workers and we strive every day for fairness and justice.”

Last week, city and county councillors were asked to support the marriage equality referendum, following a motion at the meeting by Cllr Lisa-Marie Sheehy, Sinn Fein.

But many in the chamber expressed concerns about agreeing to it.

City solicitor Cllr Bill O’Donnell of Fine Gael questioned whether it is too early for members to take a position.

His party leader, Cllr John Sheahan said the issue is “emotive,” adding: “It will be debated and people are entitled to change their minds,” he said. But the motion gained support from the Anti-Austerity Alliance.