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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 31 July, 2014

Taoiseach’s stance on gay marriage is ‘nonsense’ says Micheál Martin

As the Constitutional Convention was debated in the Dáil this evening Enda Kenny was criticised by the Fianna Fáil leader but party colleagues, including Jerry Buttimer, defended him.

Micheál Martin speaking during a debate on the Constitutional Convention in the Dáil this evening.
Micheál Martin speaking during a debate on the Constitutional Convention in the Dáil this evening.
Image: Screengrab

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has been criticised by the Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin in the Dáil this evening over his stance on gay marriage.

Kenny has not yet given a direct answer to questions on whether or not he is in favour of gay marriage with Martin repeatedly asking him about the issue during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil earlier today.

The Fine Gael leader also faced questions from journalists last week leading to an incident where he nearly fell over a flowerpot as he backed away from the media while being questioned.

This evening, during a debate on the resolution introducing the Constitutional Convention, Martin said the same-sex marriage issue had been kicked into touch because the coalition parties could not agree on a common stance.

He said that Kenny’s view that same-sex marriage and a possible referendum on it was one that should be considered by the Constitutional Convention was “nonsense” and called for the government to hold a plebiscite.

“The sad reality is that you would rather scramble over flower pots and hide from journalists than answer a simple question on where you stand on what is a basic social question,” Martin told the Dáil.

“The idea that you can’t have an opinion if a matter is being discussed by the Constitutional Convention is nonsense.

“As things are, there is a growing belief that you will wait until a moment where the government is embroiled in a crisis and you will then try and distract everybody by finally agreeing to hold a referendum on marriage equality.

“Cut out the delay, remove the issue from the convention and agree now to have the referendum on marriage equality which the people want.”

During the debate in the Dáil this evening, Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer, who recently came out, praised the Taoiseach for putting the same-sex marriage issue to the convention and defended his party leader’s decision not to disclose his view.

“It is not a political football, it is about the union of two people, it is about the love that we can celebrate, it is about the tapestry of relationships, that is what Irish society is about today,” Buttimer said commending the Taoiseach for the resolution.

Read: Taoiseach won’t be ‘pressurised into box-ticking exercise’ on gay marriage stance

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