A gay Derry man has used social media to urge his family living in the South of Ireland to vote ‘YES’ in the Marriage Referendum which will take place on May 22.
Thirty year-old Joe Carlin is from Carnhill in Derry but his late mother was from Silvermines in County Tipperary.
“I would regard Silvermines as my home as much if not more than I would Derry,” said Joe.
“As a gay man and as someone who would like to get married someday I thought I had to do something so that’s why I made the video and put it up on Facebook.”
Joe, a devout Catholic, speaks openly and honestly in the video and says that his faith in God is one of the greatest gifts he has ever received in his life. The video lasts only a few minutes but is extremely emotive and heartfelt.
“I know if my mother was still alive she would be fighting my corner and she would be voting yes - but she’s not here so that’s another reason why I made the video and spoke directly to my relatives in Tipperary who will be able to vote on May 22.”
Joe posted the video on Facebook on Wednesday evening and already it has been watched over 20,000 times.
“I can’t believe the response I got,” said Joe. “Men and women of all ages from all over Ireland, both North and South, have been contacting me to give me support.
“I don’t want to be typecast as some sort of troublemaker. I think the referendum that is taking place in the South is not about religion. I think it is about allowing two people who love one another the same status and rights as you would a man and a woman. I really do believe it is that simple,” he said.