100% Increase in Numbers of LGBT Young People and Parents Accessing BeLonG To’s Services since Marriage Equality Referendum

Today (Monday 16th November, 2015), the Minister for Children & Youth Affairs, James Reilly TD visited BeLonG To Youth Services to hear firsthand the impact the Marriage Equality Referendum has had on the lives of LGBT young people & to launch a new eBook ‘BeLonG To YES: Voices from the Marriage Equality Campaign’ by Anna Carey.

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BeLonG To has seen a 100% increase in the numbers of LGBT young people & parents seeking support since the referendum last May. This increase is another successful outcome of the referendum campaign and reflects a new openness amongst Irish families in talking about being LGBT.

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The eBook which is available for download from www.belongto.org charts the development and progress of the BeLonG To YES campaign and the crucial role it played in mobilising young people and parents to secure a yes vote on May 22nd. The eBook give’s an insider’s perspective on the running of the campaign including the historic speech by former President McAleese on May 19th at a BeLonG To YES campaign event.

Minister for Children & Youth Affairs, James Reilly TD, told those gathered at today’s event: “Throughout the campaign I was hugely impressed by the young LGBT people and their allies who played a crucial role in securing such a resounding Yes vote. They were supported by children’s & youth organisations in the country led by BeLonG To. 

I am delighted to launch this eBook telling the story of young people’s central role in the referendum.
 I sincerely hope that young people will continue to be deeply involved in shaping the future of our country. 

The campaign was a hugely positive step forward.

I commend the team at BeLonG To for all the work they are doing in supporting LGBT young people and their families right across the country. My department and I are committed to helping LGBT young people reach their full potential. The people voted for change, it’s time now to make that a reality.”

Moninne Griffith, Executive Director of BeLonG To, said: We are delighted to have this beautiful book as a record of the amazing work done by our coalition partners, young people, their parents in BeLonG To Yes Campaign. This generation of young people will be forever associated with the marriage equality win and it is so important that we record the role they played in making that happen for the history books.

Ireland changed forever what it means to be LGBT on May 22nd and now we must ensure that this impacts on young LGBT people’s day to day lives. We have more work to do to stamp out homophobia and transphobia in Irish schools, our communities and society and I absolutely believe that Ireland can be world leaders in achieving this too.”

Anna Carey, Author of BeLonG To YES, Voices from the Marriage Equality Campaign, said: I’m proud to have worked with BeLonG To, to create this record of an important campaign. Many of the interviews were conducted at the height of the campaign when the outcome was uncertain, and I’m very glad that we were able to capture the hopes, fears and thoughts of BeLonG To Yes campaigners, coalition partners and supporters on the ground. BeLonG To Yes played a crucial role in countering the arguments of the No side during the referendum, and did so with grace and positivity. I hope this book shows how they did it. ”

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