Vote needed for gay marriage - Quinn

Wed, Jul 11, 2012, 01:00

A CONSTITUTIONAL referendum would be needed to introduce gay marriage in Ireland, Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has said.

Mr Quinn said the Labour Party had always backed gay marriage but the reality was that the Constitution defined marriage and in order to have full gay marriage there would need to be a vote.

The Minister said Glen, the main body representing gays and lesbians, was of the view that civil partnership was “making progress” but that it was “not the same as gay marriage”.

His personal view was that the issue could be examined by the constitutional convention which would make recommendations.

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said on Monday that he would “probably” support a constitutional amendment on the issue.

“I suppose, depending on the proposition, if there was a referendum on it, I would probably vote yes,” he said.

Elsewhere, Cork City Council passed a motion unanimously supporting same-sex marriage.

It is the first council in the Republic to support such a motion. Belfast City Council passed its own motion in favour of marriage equality, put forward by Sinn Féin earlier this month.

The Cork motion, moved by Sinn Féin councillor Michael Nugent, says the council supports the same rights and entitlements to civil marriage for all citizens of Cork city, regardless of race, religion or sexuality.

Marriage Equality, a group working for equality for same-sex couples, welcomed the vote.