1/20/2006

Bertie rules out gay mariage

It seems that an Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has ruled out any chance of "gay marraige". Bertie has said that a majority of voters would not support such a concept and I happen to agree with him.

I am supportive of civil partnerships, I support full equality for homosexual couples in relation to inheritance rights and next of kin rights but you can not have a gay marriage.



It is quite simple, marriage is the union of a man and a woman and to suggest that you can have a "gay marriage" is utterly ridiculous.

Bertie Ahern has faced this pressure since the All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution is expected to recommend that the definition of the family should not be based on marriage due to fears it could lead to a divisive referendum on gay marriage.

Two members of the committee blasted its conservative stance and said it had lost a long-awaited opportunity to deliver equality for same-sex unions and cohabiting couples.Green party TD Ciaran Cuffe said the all-party body’s discussions regarding family rights were cautious and conservative. He called for the revision of Article 41.3.1 which states that the family is founded on the institution of marriage.

Sinn Féin’s member on the committee, Arthur Morgan, said the all-party body had squandered a long-awaited opportunity to deal with outdated and flawed aspects of the 1937 document.

“Sinn Féin had hoped that the members of the committee would grasp the opportunity to deal conclusively with the issue of the definition of the family and address the plight of those non-traditional family formations who find themselves discriminated against in the constitution,”

The Co Louth TD claimed that some committee members were afraid to support amendments because they feared a divisive referendum on same-sex unions.

“The definition of the family in Article 41.3.2 serves to unnecessarily limit family rights and hampers the realisation of full equality rights. “Because constitutional protection for families is only extended to heterosexual families, based on marriage, this permits discrimination against other family formations. Given the diversity of family formations which exist in the state today, this definition of family is clearly inadequate and discriminatory.”

I agree with Arthur, there is a changing nexus as to what constitutes a "family". Gone are the days when marriage was the determining factor in what constituted a family. Co-habiting couples and same sex couples can also have be a "family".

I come from a family where my parents are separated, my father has another partner but that doesn't change the fact that we are a family. A fucked up one no doubt but a family none the less.

Derry based gay rights campaigner David McCartney said that it would be shameful if the Irish government failed to deliver legal equality to gay couples. “We have never sought marriages because that has religious connotations. What we want is equality under the law,”

I agree with David, gay marriage is out of the question but same sex couples should have the same equality under the law.

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