COUNCILLORS IN KERRY will be asked to back a motion supporting marriage equality at its next monthly meeting.
The motion was tabled by Labour Councillor Gillian Wharton-Slattery following approaches from people in the local gay community.
“They talked to me about how other councils had tabled and passed similar motions,” she told TheJournal.ie. “And they asked why it hadn’t been done here too.”
Cork City Council were the first to carry the landmark motion in July 2012. It was soon followed by Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council and Waterford City Council. A number of senior politicians, including Leo Varadkar, Alan Shatter and several Labour TDs, have all said they are in favour of the introduction of same-sex marriage.
Despite support from the majority of political parties, Wharton-Slattery is fearful that people will break from the party line.
“It is an individual choice at the end of the day. I haven’t lobbied fellow councillors as I will let the democratic process exist in the chamber. People will make up their own minds. I have a sneaky feeling it could be in trouble getting through.”
However, she remains “cautiously hopeful”.
“I would be delighted for the 5.5 per cent of the population of Kerry that are gay for the motion to go through. We will have marriage equality eventually in this country. It would be nice to see what different councillors have to say on the matter.”
The vote will be taken late on Monday afternoon.
Last year, some 965 civil partnerships were registered in Ireland but any legislation to provide for same-sex marriage will require a referendum of the Irish people. The issue is due to be discussed during by the Constitutional Convention this year. The Taoiseach has previously declined to express a solid view on the matter.
Earlier this month, British politicians approved a draft law allowing same-sex couples to marry in England and Wales.