Why young voters mobilised for same sex marriage

Catherine Healy on why Ireland’s young people mobilised for marriage equality

Student Amée Dunne (left) and her fiancé Kathryn Nea at the launch of USI campaign: “We have an opportunity to protect our children, who are being bullied for being attracted to someone of the same gender. It’s not right and it’s not fair and it’s not equal.” Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography.

Student Amée Dunne (left) and her fiancé Kathryn Nea at the launch of USI campaign: “We have an opportunity to protect our children, who are being bullied for being attracted to someone of the same gender. It’s not right and it’s not fair and it’s not equal.” Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography.

On a bleak November afternoon, hundreds of students lined up to fill in voter registration forms at a stand in University College Cork (UCC). They smiled as they posed for selfies in the queue, proud to be doing their civic duty.

By the end of the 15-day student-run registration drive, 3,677 first-time voters — nearly 20 per cent of the UCC student population — had been signed up. James Upton, the outgoing auditor of the UCC LGBT society, had manned the stand with other volunteers from 10am until 4pm every weekday for the duration of the three-week campaign.

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