Kenny gay marriage stance 'correct', says Buttimer

Thu, Jul 12, 2012, 01:00

TAOISEACH ENDA Kenny was correct in refusing to succumb to pressure to say whether he was in favour of same-sex marriage, the chair of Fine Gael’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group has said.

Cork South Central TD Jerry Buttimer, who recently spoke publicly about being gay, said the issue should not be treated as “a political football”. He believed the constitutional convention, which is to examine same-sex marriage when it begins work later this year, was a significant step forward.

“This is about the lives of our citizens and about making their lives better through fair and equal treatment under the Constitution,” Mr Buttimer said.

“The Taoiseach was correct last week in not succumbing to the pressure and tactics of some to say ‘Yea’, some to say ‘Nay’.”

Mr Kenny has been pressed repeatedly by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin for his view on same-sex marriage but has so far refused to say whether he supports the right to marry being extended, saying Mr Martin was reducing the matter to a “box-ticking exercise”.

Meanwhile, Gay and Lesbian Equality Network chairman Kieran Rose said the convention could serve as a means to build up further support for same-sex marriage, but that he believed a referendum on the matter would ultimately be required.

Mr Rose said it was “a pity” that the Taoiseach did not reflect the growing public support for same-sex marriage.