Growing Consensus on Gay Marriage?

Coat of arms of Cork
Coat of arms of Cork (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cork City Council last night unanimously passed a motion in support of Gay Marriage. Cork City Council became the first local authority in the Republic to pass a motion in support of Gay Marriage. They follow Belfast City Council who were the first council on the Island to vote in favour of Gay Marriage.

The motion was put forward by the Sinn Fein Councillors, just like in Belfast.

The fact that this was passed unanimously by the council shows that there is much agreement between the parties on this issue. The following parties are represented on Cork City Council:

  • Fine Gael
  • Labour
  • Fianna Fáil
  • Sinn Fein
  • Socialist Party
  • Workers Party
  • and 3 independents Cllrs.

So if these parties agree at a local level on this issue, why isn’t there more agreement at national level?

While there has been welcome announcements in favour of Gay Marriage by Government Ministers including,

  • Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade: Eamonn Gilmore (Lab)
  • Minister for Justice and Equality: Alan Shatter (FG)
  • Minister of State for the Office of Public Works: Brian Hayes (FG)
  • Minister for Transport: Leo Varadkar (FG)
  • Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn (Lab)

With many of opposition TD’s and Senators also in favour of Gay Marriage, why is it being sent to the soon to be established Constitutional Convention?

Why is being fobbed off when there is a growing number in cabinet who support this? When polls show that over 70% of people are in favour of it?

While I support the idea of the Constitutional Convention, which is being passed by the Oireachtas this week, I am not sure what the point in sending this to the Convention where it has the possibility to be lost among all the other issues being thrown in.

This issue should be put before the Oireachtas and then the people  and it would be passed and lot of people would be very happy. And Married.

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Is the demand for Gay Marriage down?

This is a question no one is asking after LGBT Noise’s  March For Marriage on Sunday. In 2009 Over 3,000 people took part in that Year’s March For Marriage. This year the number is down to 2000 (Figure from Irish Times). That is compared to the 5,000 22,000 people took part in Dublin Pride Parade and the 100,000 who lined the streets of Dublin for Pride.

Why is this?

Is it people are willing to give the Civil Partnership Bill a chance? (Despite its ignorance of children)

Is it due to the general confusion about what the bill does? (I know I have been asked questions on this)

Is LGBT Noise actually on the sidelines on Gay Public Opinion?

Are people fed up of the Marriage Debate and want a quite life for a bit?

Who knows the real answer. But it will be interesting to see how this goes on.

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Marriage is an antiquated, failing institution based on inequality and traditional roles.

Protesters in San Francisco campaign for marri...
Image via Wikipedia

The above title is a quote from Mark Simpsons article on Gay Marriage on Comment is Free in today’s Guardian. In his article “Gay people don’t need marriage” he argues that gay marriage “zealots” have gotten carried away and need to look at what the majority agree with. As he points out Civil Unions which giver nearly the same rights as marriage, for example Civil Partnerships in the UK, have the backing of “liberal and conservative, secular and religious, metropolitan and rural America”.

He calls it “side-stepping this endless, unsightly domestic”. And he is right. LGBT Noise can protest all day long and give the Government red cards, but whats the point if marriage is not the answer, and it certainly isnt. They are wasting their breath and causing unnecessary division within the Gay Community and those that are broadly supportive of the gay community. Its time we brought them onside and campaigned for something achievable

Its nice when you find someone who agrees with you

(Hat Tip: The Irish Left Review)

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LGBT Noise – A Change of Message?

From Suzy’s Blog:

Next week sees another protest from LGBT Noise giving the Government the red card and calling for Civil Marriage. The turn out at the last rally was dissappointing and I’ve noticed a slight shift in the plugs to get those who don’t want to marry themselves to support the cause. Wonder would it ever work the other way?

Now last Wednesday I met one of the LGBT Noise activists in a pub, and when I mentioned my opposition to the whole gay marriage thing there nearly was an argument (we decided not too as it was a pub). But again, people seam to react to my opposition gat marriage rasies heckles and for some reason people can’t seem to respect my views on it.

They keep going on about rights and things like that and I point out that the state choses to recognise some relationships, but they dont have to call marriage. I am perfectly happy with Civil Unions/Civil Partnerships/Blueberrysherbets/What ever you want to call them.

While reading the comments on Suzy post I found myself agreeing with someone I normally dont, and that was Ian McGahon, in his comment he said

1; The political will to bring in marriage for gay and lesbian couples is not there in Ireland – out of 166 TDs I would guess that 50 would support it (total guess – no basis for guess)

2; I feel that there are couples who need rights – economic, social, political and these rights could be legislated for tomorrow but we don’t seem to consider these people – groups like LGBT Noise disregard many people; those who do not want to marry, those who badly need any form of legal recognition tomorrow

I fully agree with these points. Its not going to happen anytime soon and while we keep blathering on about Gay Civil Marriage these people are losing out.

We need Civil Unions now, not Gay Marriage next year.

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Pre-Nup Study group announced!

Via PDs website

The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr Michael McDowell, T.D., today announced the membership of the Pre-nuptial Study Group he has established to study the operation of the law with respect to Pre-nuptial
Agreements.
The Group will be chaired by Ms Inge Clissmann. Ms Clissman is an expert in family law and has represented clients in some of the leading cases in this field. Her particular specialist areas include matrimonial litigation, child advocacy, and related private international law issues. The group will report in March 2007.
The other members of the Group are:

·Ross Aylward, LL.B
·Marie Baker, Senior Counsel
·Margaret Bannon, Advisory Counsel, Office of the Attorney General
·Stephanie Coggans, Managing Solicitor, Law Centre, Legal Aid Board,
Monaghan
·Louise Crowley, Solicitor and Lecturer, Faculty of Law, UCC
·John Kenny, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform

The terms of reference of the Study Group are – “to study and report on the
operation of the law since the introduction of divorce in 1996 with respect to
pre-nuptial agreements taking into account constitutional requirements.”

The Tánaiste has asked the Group to report to him, and to make recommendations
for change in the law as it considers necessary, by 31 March 2007. It is the
Tánaiste’s intention to publish the report and any recommendations made.

Making the announcement the Tánaiste said, “The issue of pre-nuptial agreements,
as so circumscribed by the Constitution, is not straightforward and will require
close examination by the Group. I look forward to having the Group’s Report
which I expect will help to fully inform the public and the Government on what
action can and should be taken”.

Well i dont know much about the members of the group bar ‘Louise Crowley, Solicitor and Lecturer, Faculty of Law, UCC’. She lectured me in Public Law in 1st year and is due to lecture me again after xmas! I cant wait to talk to her about this!
Via FG website

Browne welcomes announcement of Pre-nup Study Group

Fine Gael Carlow/Kilkenny General Election Candidate, Senator Fergal Browne, has welcomed the announcement of the membership and terms of reference of a study group to examine the area of pre-nuptial agreements.

‘I am pleased to welcome the Justice Minister’s timely response to my call for an examination of the legal status of pre-nups. I stressed the importance of clarifying this legal ‘grey area’ when I put forward a motion on the subject before Seanad Éireann in October. The appointment of the study group is a welcome development especially as there are more and more people marrying later in life and more people re-marrying. It is important that the current legal status of pre-nuptials is clarified and that the effects of their possible introduction are studied.

‘I welcome the appointment of Senior Counsel, Ms Inge Clissman, as the chair of the study group and I look forward to its report which is due for submission to the Tánaiste by the end of March 2007.

‘I would encourage all people who have an interest in the area to make submissions to the study group and I look forward with interest to the publication of the group’s recommendations.’