Standing in front of the now-Iconic "BelonGToYes" logo, Ireland's popular former president Mary McAleese today roused an audience who listened intently as the speaker brought home a moving, pro-equality message in her quintessentially Irish brogue.
Starting with an account of her very early support of same-sex marriage, traceable back 40 years to a radio program around the time of her own opposite-sex marriage, McAleese touched on the Roman Catholic Church's role in branding and isolating LGBT people as well as the red herring that is the intentionally confusing ploy of equating the marriage question with adoption rights -- when the vote is strictly about whether or not same-sex couples will be able to officially register their civil marriages with the government.
"We're Catholic," McAleese said in the speech, delivered at an event hosted by the BelonGToYes coalition posted on YouTube today. "Martin [McAleese] and I have been married for almost 40 years. We've campaigned for marriage equality for gay citizens as a family since before we had children -- before we had children, we were a family -- we believe happy marriages are good for individuals and for society. We believe happy gay marriages will be very good for society."
McAleese also noted that, while marriage equality will have no impact on people who are already married or on straight couples in general, it will have a very positive impact on gay children -- and their parents, including herself.
Watch in the video below as McAleese tells voters why there really is no other fair, Christian, or Irish vote other than that of yes on the freedom to marry the person one loves, irrespective of gender: