UCD Students’ Union will join the LGBT NOISE March for Marriage on August 12th after the SU was mandated to campaign on the issue in Council back in March.
Paddy Guiney, Campaigns and Communications Officer, stated that Marriage Equality is “something that should happen” and was keen to stress the collaborative effort that has gone into the recent campaign in which the SU have been working with the LGBT society and other groups who are concerned with the issue of marriage equality.
Guiney later went on to say, “The reason we want students to march is because we believe in an Ireland that has equal rights, equal rights for everyone, that is accepting of everyone, that people can be themselves and hopefully in twenty years time after the work we put in, this will become a thing of the past.”
Referring to those who oppose marriage equality on the grounds that marriage is an institution for a man and a woman, Guiney said, “this is 2012 now, it’s not the 1940’s”.
Guiney admits that he knew very little about the issue of equality six or seven weeks ago but says that since reading more about it and speaking to members of the LGBT community he has become more aware of the difficulties faced by LGBT people and the importance of equality.
In an appeal to UCD students Guiney said, “We need you to march on August 12th. I know it’s Sunday, it’s 3pm, but take two hours off your day, take two hours during the summer if you’re here in Ireland. Get down and make sure you march… give your time and you will see the rewards.”
Following the march there will be a BBQ in D2, which Guiney sees as “a good celebration to a very successful and intense campaign”.
Some have made the complaint that the Union should be using their time to fight for other issues and that the marriage equality campaign is a convenient way for the SU to improve their damaged image following last year’s financial revelations.
Responding to these allegations Guiney stated, “ You can’t just focus on one thing like the finances, the finances, the finances. If you did that we’d get nothing done. The equality campaign itself is not just a little puppet show… It’s the fact that this is something that needs to happen… we need to represent students and interest groups and that includes the LGBT community.”
Guiney went on to say that he wants campaigns this year to have the same level of intensity as the SU elections.
When asked if this was the return of a more radical and socially conscious Union Guiney responded, “I want to get as many students involved in the Students’ Union as possible. Not just as class-reps, but get them involved in issues that they care about and if that becomes a more socially radical Union then fair play that’s brilliant.”
He went on, “At the moment I think we have a very good relationship with our university and I’ve seen that first hand myself in the month I’ve been in the role, but our main concern is students, and if there’s something wrong in the university that students care about we’ll fight for it.”
The March for Marriage takes place on August 12th at 3pm, beginning at City Hall.