Orlagh Winters: The Importance Of Using Your Vote

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Orlagh new profile 1SO where will you be on May 22?

The answer to that question by each and every one of us should be, at the voting booth to vote in the referendum.

I make no secret of the fact that I will be voting Yes and indeed I have written about it in the past.  What I want to concentrate on this week is the importance of using your vote.

In 1918 women were finally given the right to vote in Ireland, so please ladies use this right and vote whatever way you see fit.

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In the past few weeks there has been a lot of criticism from both the Yes and No campaigns as to the way the opposing side has conducted themselves.

I certainly take umbrage to the posters that the No side have placed all over the town, particularly outside schools. There are thousands of single parent families doing an incredible job rearing their children without the support of the other parent.

Abandonment, death or indeed choice are all reasons for single parent families. This referendum is not about children. Currently there are gay couples who have their children through surrogacy or IVF.

Many adopt their children as per the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015. Please do not be clouded by misinformation that seems to have crept into this referendum.

Some of the people who are voting yes have been insulting to those voting no, particularly on social media. I understand the frustration involved but please have respect for their choice.

This referendum is about equality, nothing more and nothing less. I spoke to some people over the last few days and one admitted that they were thinking of voting no as a stance against the government.

This really annoyed me as all political parties have pledged their support for a Yes vote so for once they are showing a united front and are singing from the same hymn sheet.

Keep your government likes or dislikes for the next general election.

Equality is what matters! The question that we all need to ask ourselves when we are deciding what box to tick is if we think that all citizens should be treated equally?

If you are the mother or father of two children do you in the future want them both to have the same rights if one of them is heterosexual and the other is homosexual?

I assume that that the answer you would give is yes. While I appreciate that there will be a lot of people who will vote no and I have to respect their decision, I don’t agree with it but then opinions deserve respect.

Instead of ridiculing someone for not agreeing with you, make your vote count on May 22.

Read all the press reports, watch and listen to all the TV and radio debates and make up your own mind. The most important thing right now is that you put your time aside to vote. Encourage your friends and family to do the same.

Until next week,

Make a date with the polling booth!

Orlagh x

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