Paddy Manning and Keith Mills have become literally the two most famous gay men in the country. Their story of a heartfelt plea to the Irish public to vote No has gone viral around the world.
Both men are well acclaimed bloggers, but their notoriety for being gay and sticking their heads about the pulpit by publicly saying they’re voting No has made them nationally known public figures.
Paddy Manning is from Kilkenny. He’s passionate about voting No because he believes this referendum is a redefinition of marriage between a man and woman. He believes the fact that gay people already have civil partnership superceeds the redefining of marriage – a union enshrined for over 2,500 years. Paddy believes this referendum does a mis-service to the gay community.
Keith Mills is from Limerick. He’s passionate about voting No because “a child needs a mother and a father, all things being equal”. He believes two men and two women can only bring a life into the world via surrogacy. This alone – he feels is wrong. Keith states that a union between a man and a woman is different to that of two men or two women, but there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just a difference. Keith is an avid Eurovision fan and is actually in Vienna today for the pre-shows and show itself. So dedicated to voting No, Keith is actually flying back to Dublin tomorrow morning to Vote, and the fly back to Vienna tomorrow night for the Eurovision – dedication to say the least.
Being a gay person and publicly stating you’re voting No, isn’t easy. They have both received abominable online abuse – something that they feel is hypocritical of the Yes side. The very fact the Yes side wants equality is lost on the fact that two gay men have opposing opinions to them.
However, the high levels of encouragement they’ve both received has far outweighed the negativity.
Their video has been described as “inspiring”, “emotional”, “genuine” and “brave” by the more than 450,000 people who’ve already seen it.
Click the play button below to watch the video: