Meet Laura Cronin Who’s Flying From Amsterdam To Vote Yes For Marriage Equality
Meet the young Irish woman who is so committed to a Yes victory that she's flying home to make sure that her vote counts.
Laura Cronin, 24, lives in Amsterdam. She’s voting Yes
“I work for Tourism Ireland in the Netherlands and I’ve been out here for about nine months. When I was home at Easter I booked my flights to come home for the referendum. Because I did it then it only cost about €150, but it’s not about the money. This is such an important issue and I feel it’s a real privilege to be able to vote. I’ve a few other friends working here for Irish agencies who are coming back too, and another’s organising a big party for the night of the 22nd in an Irish bar in Amsterdam.
“I’ve got friends and colleagues at home who have a vote and a polling station on their doorsteps, and they’re ambivalent about it. It’s such a shame. Voting Yes is so important – here in the Netherlands, they legalised gay marriage 14 years ago. It’s really important that Ireland makes this leap. The Yes Equality side are really active, but there’s this huge, silent No vote – I’m from rural county Cork and that’s where I’ll be going back to vote. I know a lot of people will vote No there.
I want to stand up with my international peers and be proud that we have equal rights.
“I’ve always taken an interest in politics, no matter the area it’s in, but there are a lot of my friends who haven’t taken the time to inform themselves – it just seems that a lot of young people don’t see the issue or think it won’t affect them. But they won’t be long giving out about the things that do affect them afterwards, though do nothing about it when they do have a say.
“For my sisters and myself, it’s important that our parents vote yes, but they feel bomarded by the Yes side – and on the other hand, the only messaging they’re getting from the No side is around adoption and children, which is not what it’s about. So we’re saying to them that it’s about equal rights, and what would they want for us if one of us was to come out?
“Tomorrow night, I’ll be at home watching the count, which I love doing. I’ll be really disappointed; extremely disappointed if it doesn’t go through. I mean, I’ll be heading back to the Netherlands, I’ll be ashamed. I love this country and I promote it every day. If we don’t get a Yes, it’ll be so hard to stomach the fact we don’t allow equal rights to all citizens. Internationally, it will be a disaster – it’ll be reported globally.
“Ireland is one of the best countries in the world. I’m coming home in two years and I want to stand up with my international peers and be proud that we have equal rights.”