The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has preannounced an audit of TDs’ votes For/Against the Civil Unions Bill when voting takes place in the Dáil next Wednesday, 21st February.
Students are to note precisely which TDs try to block the legislation in the Second Stage vote.
The Civil Unions Bill would end discrimination against lesbian and gay people in many areas of law.
As students prepare to consider the audit’s findings, USI urges TDs to bear in mind that the “overwhelming majority” of the public support Civil Union legislation .
USI lesbian and gay spokesperson Steve Conlon said: “Students will look to see how every individual TD votes on this legislation. Simply, we regard attitudes towards Civil Union legislation as a litmus test of TDs’ support for fairness and equality. Those who vote ‘Nay’ vote to oppose these principles.
“Because lesbian and gay people cannot currently enter into a Civil Union or marry, they are subjected to statutory discrimination in many areas. The proposed Bill is a means to end this discrimination.
“Civil Unions are not the same as marriages, and USI continues to seek justice for same-sex couples who should have the right to marry in this State. Nevertheless, Civil Union legislation would improve the State’s treatment of lesbian and gay people, creating a better society for all.”
USI President Colm Hamrogue said: “In a very meaningful sense, all eyes will be on TDs on Tuesday when this Bill is debated, and especially on Wednesday when they will vote.
“The Labour Party is to be commended for sponsoring such an important piece of legislation.
“By publicly announcing an audit of how each individual TD votes – and communicating this to students across Ireland – we will be encouraging our members to exercise their vote for candidates who truly represent them.”
1. A Lansdowne poll at the end of 2006 commissioned by GLEN (Gay and Lesbian Equality Network) found that 84% of respondents were in support of either civil marriage of full civil partnerships for same-sex couples.
also reported on breakingnews.ie
I also got an e-mail today from a friend in the SGMHP asking people to e-mail their TD’s on this issue. I think this is a good idea and shall be emailing my TD’s now and will post up the e-mail and any responses I get.