Dáil support for same-sex marriage?

 

Sir, – Michael O’Regan writes that during a recent Dáil debate on the Constitutional Convention report there was “unanimous” support for a referendum on same-sex marriage, and that Minister for Justice Alan Shatter had said that “the House had agreed there was a need for constitutional change and that a referendum should be held” (Dáil report, December 18th).

Both Michael O’Regan and Alan Shatter seem to have got a bit carried away. No vote was held in the Dáil on the issue, so it is simply untrue to say that the Dáil had agreed a referendum was required. Also, just 12 members of the Dáil spoke during the debate, meaning 153 TDs have yet to express an opinion on the matter. This was not because the other TDs had no interest in debating the matter but because, as is now the norm, the Government guillotined the debate to just 90 minutes.

Given that such a small number of people had a chance to express a view, it is ridiculous to suggest the Dáil holds a “unanimous” view on the issue. Furthermore, if Mr Shatter is so confident that a unanimous view exists, then I presume he would have no difficulty in allowing a free vote on the issue within his own party when the matter comes before the Dáil once again? – Yours, etc,

THOMAS RYAN,

Mount Tallant Avenue,

Harolds Cross, Dublin 6W.