Taoiseach joins tech sector in call for Yes marriage vote

Successful businesses reflect the diversity of the customers, campaigners say

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said “Ireland’s welcoming reputation should extend to being an open, tolerant and compassionate home for our gay and lesbian workers”. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said “Ireland’s welcoming reputation should extend to being an open, tolerant and compassionate home for our gay and lesbian workers”. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

A Yes vote in the same sex marriage referendum would help promote Ireland as a leading place to work and do business, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.

Mr Kenny was speaking at an event for technology industry leaders organised by the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network.

The “Business for Yes” campaign argues successfuol businesses reflect the diversity of their customers, shareholders and communities.

The Taoiseach said marriage equality was “as good for our value as it is for our values”.

He said “Ireland’s welcoming reputation should extend to being an open, tolerant and compassionate home for our gay and lesbian workers”.

Calling for a Yes vote in the upcoming same sex marriage referendum, Mr Kenny said marriage might seem passé, but it’s not to those who are denied it.

“Up until now you could never give your family, as we say in Ireland, ‘the day out’,” he said.

“You were locked out of an institution that welcomed your parents, your sibilings and your friends. You could have civil partnership, but marriage: no.”

“But on May 22nd this could all change and I hope it will change.”

He said a Yes vote would be a vital step in the evolution of Ireland as a country.

“It is rare that we get the chance to vote on something so unquantifiable yet transformative as love. But in just five weeks we will,” said Mr Kenny.

The event was supported by figures from the tech sector, including Twitter Ireland managing director Stephen McIntyre, Silicon Republic chief executive Ann O’Dea and Iona technologies co-founder Chris Horn.

Mr McIntyre said he would encourage other companies to support marriage equality.

“Twitter is supporting a Yes vote because of our company’s commitment to inclusion and the strong business case for marriage equality.”