Kenny issues final pitch: Yes vote will 'obliterate barriers of prejudice'

The Taoiseach said a Yes vote in Friday's same sex marriage referendum will obliterate discrimination and give gay people hope.

Enda Kenny made his final pitch as Fine Gael leader to voters this afternoon ahead of the broadcast blackout on coverage that kicks in at lunchtime tomorrow.

He said that if people believe in equality then they must not be complacent and must go out and vote.

Mr Kenny said this campaign has lit a fire in people and he hopes they will get a Yes result.

"The Yes will obliterate, publicly, the remaining barriers of prejudice or the irrational fear of 'them' and 'us' in this regard.

"Equally, a very public Yes will create a very private and very personal hope."

'The biggest hurt you can inflict'

Michael Noonan, meanwhile, said exclusion is the worst thing in society, and exclusion for gay people is the worst pain they suffer.

"The biggest hurt you can inflict on anybody in society is to exclude them on the grounds that they're different," he said.

"[To say]: you're not one of us, you're not protected by our constitution, you're not accommodated in accordance with our law - that's a huge hurt."

Earlier, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said he personally found the campaign to have been broadly positive and respectful, despite "some totally misleading information fed in a negative way".

Vote and surrogacy 'ultimately linked'

On the No side, founder of the Iona Institute, David Quinn, called for a defeat of the referendum.

The Government is keen to draw a distinction between Friday's marriage referendum and any regulations in the area of surrogacy.

However, Quinn believes that the two are closely linked.

"If, suddenly, you have two men armed for the first time with a constitutional right to beget children, and they go into court demanding the right to be vindicated, it is entirely possible that the right would include a constitutional right to use AHR (assisted human reproduction) and surrogacy.

"The two are connected, ultimately."

Some campaigners for a No vote say they think it is no longer about whether the Referendum will be defeated, but by how much.

A coalition of people on the No side have held their last press conference ahead of Friday’s Referendum.

Paddy Manning, who is gay, said the polls cannot be believed, as was proved in the British General Election.

"If polls were right, then Ed Miliband is Prime Minister of Britain … I believe that 48 hours ago, this ceased to be on the wire. The question now is what the margin will be for the no side."

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