All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

Article 1, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Love does not discriminate, and neither should our laws.  If a state decides to recognise, protect and value loving, intimate, committed relationships in its laws, it should not deny this recognition to some just because of their sexual orientation.


Equality matters…marriage equality matters.


On 22 May, you will have the chance to make history. In the marriage Equality Referendum, you can help create a Republic of equals.


Vote ‘Yes’ to equality


Everyone has the right to be free from discrimination in the enjoyment of their human rights – including the right to marry and found a family.  This is provided in Article 2 of the UDHR and Article 2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights. Article 26 of the ICCPR provides for equal protection of everyone before the law. For over a decade sexual orientation has been a prohibited ground of discrimination.


There is no objective justification for denying access to civil marriage to same sex couples. It serves no legitimate social purpose or national interest. To do so is discrimination.


This is why Amnesty International’s global policy calls for an end to discrimination in civil marriage laws on the basis of sexual orientation.


Vote ‘Yes’ to freedom to marry for same-sex couples

“The exclusion of same-sex couples from the benefits and responsibilities, accordingly is not a small and tangential inconvenience…it represents a harsh if oblique statement by the law that same-sex couples are outsiders, and that their need for affirmation and protection of the intimate relations as human beings is somehow less than that of heterosexual couples…it signifies that their capacity for love, commitment and accepting responsibility is by definition less worthy of regard than heterosexual couples.”

Justice Albie Sachs of the South African Supreme Court


Background Documents:



Amnesty International Ireland’s submission on civil marriage equality to the Constitutional Convention