Kenny 'will not be pressurised' on gay marriage position


TAOISEACH ENDA Kenny has refused to say if he supports same-sex marriage.

Pressed repeatedly by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin for his view, the Taoiseach said: “Deputy Martin will not pressurise me as a citizen, or as leader of the Government, into a box-ticking exercise.”

Mr Kenny said Fine Gael was the first party to make a real issue of civil partnership, which it was happy to support and follow through on in terms of taxation, property rights and civil union.

Mr Martin said Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore had raised the bar last week when he expressed support for same-sex marriage.

“I want to get a sense of where the Government is on this,” he added.

Mr Kenny said there was only one Taoiseach and he happened to speak for the Government.

“There is only one Tánaiste also,” said Mr Martin.

Mr Kenny said the constitutional convention would reflect on the issue of same-sex marriage and other issues named in the programme for government, and respond to the Government.

The Government was committed to making a decision on each of those issues within a four-month period.

“If Deputy Martin thinks he can stand up and ask my view on this, we are speaking about the Constitution and it is a matter for each individual citizen,” he added.

Mr Martin said the people would like to know where the leader of the country stood on issues.

Mr Kenny said the process set in train by the Government was to take a number of those important issues, “which were never dealt with by Deputy Martin’s crowd”, and would have the constitutional convention reflect on them.

Mr Martin said the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Alan Shatter were very clear on it.

He accused Mr Kenny of waiting for the convention to tell him where he stood on the issue.