‘YES’ FOR HEALTH: Professionals join Varadkar & O Riordain to call for Yes Vote

yes medics

Doctors, Midwives & Nurses, Pharmacists & others say: ‘Marriage Equality is a Health Issue’

Health professionals including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and clerical staff, and several health bodies joined Minister for Health Leo Varadkar and Minister of State for Equality Aodhan O Riordain today to call for a ‘Yes’ vote in the Marriage Equality Referendum.

The Irish College of General Practitioners, the Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation, IMPACT, and individual health professionals attended the event at No.6 Kildare Street and described marriage equality as a health issue. And a new group called Doctors for Marriage Equality, which represents doctors from a wide range of specialities, launched its charter calling for a ‘Yes’ vote at the event.

Prof Susan Smith of Doctors for Marriage Equality said: “We are a group of doctors from a broad range of medical specialties. We are launching our charter in support of a yes vote in the Marriage Equality referendum. Access to civil marriage is a social justice and human rights issue, which will have an impact on health and for this reason, as doctors, we are calling for a yes vote.”

General Secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), Liam Doran said: “The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, following a unanimous endorsement at our annual conference in 2014, fully supports a yes vote for marriage equality.  As professionals we provide care without distinction in this area, and we believe that the law should not distinguish either.  This type of discrimination is destructive to the health and wellbeing of our people, and it should be eradicated.  We believe a yes vote will be positive for the people, families, and children of our nation.”

Chief Executive of the Irish College of General Practitioners, Kieran Ryan said: “The Board acknowledges that the ICGP is not a political organisation. However, as a professional membership organisation, ICGP believes that it should actively promote the values of equality for all not only in their professional careers but also in society in general, which this referendum has highlighted.”

Louise O’Donnell, national secretary with IMPACT trade union said: “IMPACT is proud to support the campaign for a Yes vote in the marriage equality referendum. This is a referendum about equality, about fully recognising the rights of all citizens to marry, and we’re very proud to support it.”

Minister Varadkar said: “I believe that marriage equality is also a health issue.  If people feel accepted they will be more open about their sexual orientation which is good for their overall health, and their mental health. Also, when health staff come to Ireland from countries with marriage equality, their marriages are not recognised here.  Hundreds if not thousands of health care professionals are LGBT and many are in civil partnerships but these are not protected by the constitution, nor are they recognised as families. This Referendum is about giving equality before the law for all our citizens.”