LA Galaxy's Robbie Keane writes letter supporting marriage equality ahead of vote in his native Ireland

Robbie Keane

LA Galaxy star Robbie Keane publicly voiced his support for marriage equality in his native Ireland over the weekend, writing an open letter in Dublin’s Sunday World newspaper urging his countrymen to pass the same-sex marriage referendum that will be voted on later this month.

Keane wrote that he is “strongly supporting a ‘YES’ vote” for the May 22nd referendum, which – if passed – would change Ireland’s constitution to allow same-sex marriages.

“Most of us will have friends or family who, up to now, have been denied the right to marry their loved ones or have been made to feel excluded because of their sexuality,” wrote Keane. “To me, this feels wrong. I am a very proud Irishman and it is important to me that our country does, and is seen to, treat all of its citizens on equal footing.”

The captain of the Irish national team since 2006, the 34-year-old Keane holds Ireland’s all-time scoring record with 65 goals in 139 career international appearances. The reigning MLS MVP scored two goals in his first four games this season before missing the Galaxy’s last six contests due to a groin injury.

Keane’s LA teammate Robbie Rogers publicly came out as gay in February 2013, briefly retiring from soccer before joining the Galaxy later that year.

Keane wrote: “My own personal view is that changing our Constitution on this issue is the right decision as it will give people the choice and opportunity to marry, irrespective of the fact that they may wish to marry someone of the same gender.

“Marriage equality is an easy answer for me and will show the world that Ireland is a compassionate country that [recognizes] and accepts diversity, and most importantly treats its citizens equally.”