Marriage equality is a human right, says Law Society

Law Society takes public stance ahead of same-sex marriage referendum

Ken Murphy, director general of the Law Society of Ireland:  “We would hope that people will at least give consideration to what we say.”  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Ken Murphy, director general of the Law Society of Ireland: “We would hope that people will at least give consideration to what we say.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Marriage equality is an issue of fundamental human rights and there is no legal justification for denying equality to same-sex couples, the Law Society of Ireland has said.

In a vote last month, the society’s council decided, by 22 to nine, to support the referendum on same-sex marriage on May 22nd.

Ken Murphy, director general of the society, said there was a debate about whether they should take a position. Once that was resolved, it became “a very easy matter”.

“There was really no opposition to the idea . . . if we were taking a public position, then it would be in support of a Yes vote,” he said.

Not every member of the profession would agree with the decision, but it was the overwhelming view of the elected council, he said.

The society was taking a public stance because marriage equality was an issue of fundamental human rights: “We would hope that people will at least give consideration to what we say.”

The decision followed a report from the society’s human rights committee.

It said there were 160 ways in which civil partnership, compared to civil marriage, was the lesser of the two unions.