Call made on Limerick to carry the fight for more gay rights

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Members of the LGBT community in Limerick gathered at Kasbah Club in Dolans for the announcement of the national result of the Marriage Equality referendum [Picture: Dolf Patijn]
CALLS have been made for Limerick to carry the fight for more rights for LGBT people as the city decisively passed the marriage equality referendum.

CALLS have been made for Limerick to carry the fight for more rights for LGBT people as the city decisively passed the marriage equality referendum.

A total of 24,789 people voted to allow marriage equality, some 64.15% of the electorate here.

This was a result reflected nationwide, and at this Monday’s council meeting, members debated a motion to call on the government to “abolish all remaining legislative barriers to equality” for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

This would include a repeal of the ban on blood donations from men who have had sex with other men, plus exemptions from equality legislation which allow religious-run schools and hospital to fire someone on the basis of their sexuality.

The author of the notice of motion, Cllr Cian Prendiville said: “It is now clear the vast majority of people want to move away from the discrimination in our laws, and it is up to the political establishment to do that. There still is significant areas of discrimination, in particular section 37 which exempts schools and hospitals religiously run from equality legislation.”

He said Yes Equality Limerick, and its sister organisations nationally must continue equality fight.

Some 35% of the electorate in Limerick rejected the constitutional amendment.

‘No’ campaigner Jim Hickey, of the Ballysimon Road, said he feels their movement was not as well resourced as the Yes campaign.

He said: “Democracy prevailed, and I wish everybody well. We put up a good fight for what we thought was best. My opinion is the legislation we had was sufficient. It went fairly well. We had a lot of areas to cover, but I don’t think we had as much manpower as the Yes camp had. You could see with the posters, they really had themselves well organised, and you have to give them credit for that.”

Limerick joined the rest of the country in throwing out plans for a reduction in the presidential candidacy age.

Metropolitan mayor Michael Sheahan admitted he was disappointed with this outcome. “If we want people to take part in the electoral process, nobody should be barred from standing within reason,” he said.