Big divide on same sex marriage
- former Bundoran councillor ‘delighted’ but Pro-Life activist says no

A former Bundoran Town Councillor says there’s a “growing political consensus in Ireland in favour of same sex marriages.”

A former Bundoran Town Councillor says there’s a “growing political consensus in Ireland in favour of same sex marriages.”

Tiernan Brady, a director of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) was commenting on news that both Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and Justice Minister Alan Shatter are publicly calling for equal rights for same sex marriages in Ireland.

However, Donegal town based Pro-Life activist Mary Stewart is opposed to the move: “I would have thought this government would have had enough on their plate to try and sort out the economy without trying to change the whole of society, closing the Vatican, taking religion out of schools. My comment on that is ‘have they not enough to do otherwise?’, she told Ocean FM yesterday.

On Sunday, the tánaiste said: “the time has come” for full marriage equality. “I believe in gay marriage”, he added. Yesterday, Minister Shatter said he agreed with the comments.

Inishowen-based Mary Doherty of the Renew Group commented: “That’s just totally irresponsible on our government’s part.”

But a delighted Mr Brady told the Donegal Democrat: “We strongly welcome their backing - it’s a great way to end the Pride celebrations. These statements, along with Fianna Fail’s adoption at its Ard Fheis of a policy in favour of same sex marriage, points to a growing political consensus about the issue as we head towards the Constitutional Convention.

“I think a big part of why things are moving forward is the enormous success of civil partnerships. In every county across Ireland, from Donegal to Wexford, people have been publicly entering into civil partnerships, surrounded by their family and friends. This has changed utterly Irish people’s perceptions of gay and lesbian relationships.

“It’s brought out the innate Irish sense of fair play. People look to their family and friends who are gay and lesbian and the idea that their relationships, their commitments to each other don’t count just doesn’t ring true with the majority of Irish people any more. They want their family and friends who are gay or lesbian to be able to commit to each other in public and with the same recognition as other couples, not be hidden and unrecognised as they were for so many years.

““To move to marriage now and provide full Constitutional equality for lesbian and gay people is not a massive legislative leap. It is an incremental step building on the success of our Civil Partnership legislation.”