A former member of Bundoran Town Council has welcomed former President Mary McAleese’s declaration of support for marriage for lesbian and gay couples.
Tiarnan Brady, spokesperson for the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) was responding to comments Ms McAleese made on the RTE programme The Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne last night.
“The former President’s support for marriage for lesbian and gay couples is further evidence of the extensive momentum building for civil marriage for lesbian and gay couples,” Mr Brady said.
“The former President agrees that lesbian and gay people are as entitled to live their lives on the same terms as everyone else, including their desire to get married, to love each other and to be there for each other.
This support follows on from two more councils - Fingal and Waterford City – voting this week to support civil marriage for lesbian and gay couples. “It is clear that the tide of public opinion has shifted towards an acceptance of marriage for same-sex couples,” Mr Brady commented.
“The next step, building on the strong public and political support and on the success of civil partnerships, is to provide for full Constitutional equality for lesbian and gay people by providing access to civil marriage.
The former President, when in office, offered very strong support and visibility to lesbian and gay people.
“As President, Ms McAleese regularly highlighted the challenges which young lesbian and gay people face when they first discover their sexual orientation, often in a hostile climate. She emphasised that the climate in a school and in society when young LGBT people discover their orientation is critical to their well being.
“Civil marriage would send a very strong signal, in particular to young lesbian and gay people, that their lives and relationships were as valued and as cherished as those of other married couples in society.” concluded Brady.