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Taoiseach should not be forced to give opinion on gay marriage

Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer tells TheJournal.ie that people should stop treating the issue as “a political football”

Fine Gael T.D. Jerry Buttimer
Fine Gael T.D. Jerry Buttimer
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE TAOISEACH SHOULD not be forced to give his opinion on whether he is for or against gay marriage, according to Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, the Cork  South Central TD said that people should stop treating the issue as “a political football” when the program for government outlined that the constitutional convention was the forum for debate on the issue.

He said: “He can’t direct members of the constitutional convention how to vote when they may be nominated to A, B or C board in the future. Either way, he hasn’t come out and said what his view is on voting rights for 17 year olds or on the review of the Dáil’s electoral system. I think there are some people trying to create a chasm.”

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has pressed Enda Kenny for his views on same sex marriage, but to no avail.

Asked whether he thought the Fine Gael parliamentary party would support a vote, he said he was confident it would.

“We were the first party to bring forward legislation on civil partnerships. We’ve always been very supportive of equal rights for gay people.”

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar this week said he was supportive of gay marriage.

“I am quite happy that there is growing support for civil partnerships not just in the political world but among private citizens,” said Buttimer.

“I am impatient for change, sure. But I want something that being people together and doesn’t divide us. The constitutional convention is the place to do that.” He added:

The bottom line here is that this is about the rights of people having their status as gay people enshrined in the constitution through the provision of same sex marriage.

Yesterday, Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn said that a constitutional referendum would be needed to bring in gay marriage.

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

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