Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson calls for same-sex marriage in Ireland
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has called for same-sex marriage to be made legal in Ireland ahead of this week’s referendum on the issue.
The Republic of Ireland will on 22 May hold a referendum to decide whether to legalise same-sex marriage.
Speaking in their first joint radio interview, Ms Davidson and her girlfriend Jen Wilson, who left Ireland in 2003, both called for Ireland to vote yes on same-sex marriage.
Ms Davidson said she hoped Ms Wilson would be able to “go home” for their wedding, and that she is “desperate” for a yes vote.
The Tory leader’s girlfriend said in the interview that she “never really felt I could be completely myself” when living at home in Ireland.
Ms Davidson also said the “sky hadn’t fallen in” since same-sex marriage became legal in Scotland on New Year’s Eve 2014, dismissing warnings about legalising it.
“The question is do people who love each other, who are already permitted and encouraged to have civil partnerships, should they be denied marriage?” she said.
“I love this woman that is sitting to my left here. I would very much like it if it was a possibility for us for her to go home to get married because there are young people who are leaving Ireland right now because they don’t feel like they can be their whole selves.
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“There’s a woman who’s sitting here who would be desperate to go home and be that Yes vote in Ireland.” The 36-year-old added: “Who knows, maybe an Irish wedding in our future?”
Ms Wilson, who works in marketing for a green energy charity, on why she left Ireland, said: “I gave myself a really hard time about being gay. It’s nothing something that was terribly openly discussed I think in general in Ireland at the time or seen as being acceptable.
“I needed to leave the country to go somewhere where I could not be looking over my shoulder worrying that somebody from my home town would spot me in a gay bar or with a partner.”
If Ireland legalises same-sex marriage, it will become the 18th country worldwide to do so. It would also make Ireland the first to legalise it by means of a referendum.
The pair appeared publicly for the first time in a broadcast for the Scottish Conservatives in February this year.
Related topics: civil partnership, civil union, equal marriage, Europe, Gay, gay weddings, Ireland, Ireland, jen wilson, lesbian, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage equality, referendum, ruth davidson, same sex weddings, Union, wedding