Despite U.S. Christian Group’s Interference, Ireland Likely To Pass Marriage Equality — By Vote

On Friday, Ireland will vote on marriage equality, deciding whether same-sex couples should have the same right to marriage as opposite-sex ones, but there are allegations that the campaign against the measure is being influenced from outside the country. Despite this, it’s expected that the voters will choose equality and that Ireland will be the first nation to legalize same-sex marriage by vote.

Pink News reports that the “No Campaign” — the group fighting to prevent marriage equality in Ireland — has been accused of taking funds from at least one, and possibly more, American anti-gay groups. Specifically, supporters of same-sex marriage rights believe that NOM, or the National Organization for Marriage, which, despite its name, works to prevent marriage rights for same-sex couples, has been funneling money to the No Campaign, which, if true, would violate Ireland’s campaign laws.

NOM reportedly denies the allegations — but is openly supportive of the No Campaign. Here’s a screenshot from NOM’s website, clearly calling for followers to support the No Campaign.

Ireland's group against marriage equality may have accepted funds from NOM.

NOM does not explicitly ask supporters to donate cash to the anti-marriage group — just to go to the website and “support” the cause.

Here’s what you can do on the No Campaign’s website, where NOM links.

American group attempts to prevent marriage equality in Ireland.

At minimum, NOM is directing American followers to a website for donating to the No Campaign.

However, if NOM (or their followers) are indeed funding the anti-marriage group, it appears they may be throwing their money away. According to the Washington Post, a vote in favor of equality is backed by “all the significant political parties, the major media organizations, unions and business groups. The yes campaign has also won support from sports stars and even some dissident clerics.”

According to the Irish Times, current polls show around three-quarters of Irish voters supporting marriage equality. The main concern is whether those supporters will make it to the voting boot. To that end, one taxi service, Hailo, is offering free rides to anyone who needs a way to get to the polls on Friday.

Though the taxi service doesn’t suggest that they would deny service to anyone based on their vote, it’s clear what the company’s position is.

NOM says that “the battle to preserve marriage is a global one” — but they may soon be losing the battle on two fronts: the U.S. Supreme Court is widely expected to rule in favor of marriage equality in June, and Ireland’s voters are predicted to vote for marriage equality on May 22.

[Photo by: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images]