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Same sex couples must be allowed marry, raise a family and adopt - Ó Snodaigh

31 October, 2007

Speaking from the Dáil this evening Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh said he fully supports the right of same sex couples to marry and found a family, including by adoption. Deputy Ó Snodaigh also affirmed the party’s support of the the right of unmarried and same sex couples to enter into civil partnerships.


Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:


“Sinn Féin was the first party to try to enshrine this right into legislation, when Deputy Crowe tabled an amendment to the Civil Registration Bill 2003 to provide for equal recognition of same-sex marriage.


“In 2004, I tabled an amendment to the Equality Bill to allow for a more inclusive definition of the term “marital status” to recognise same-sex partnerships.  Our 2005 submission to the All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution called for the definition of “family” to be extended to include same-sex couples.


“In our manifesto for this year’s general election we said that Sinn Féin in government would ‘introduce legislation to permit and recognise same-sex marriage, to provide full and equal recognition of all civil partnerships in law and recognise the right of same-sex couples to adopt children in the same manner as heterosexual couples’.


“Our record on this issue is clear and unambiguous.


“Just eight months ago, Deputy Cuffe said that the Green Party, like Sinn Féin, “would go even further and give the right to marry to all same sex couples”. He criticised the Government for “dithering” on the matter.  Now here he is denying that “dithering” is exactly what his Government is doing now.


“The same spurious suggestions that the Bill before us now would not stand up to judicial scrutiny were previously roffered up my government. These were “hollow words” – to use Deputy Cuffe’s own phrase – when the Government said them in February, and they are hollow words now.  And the Green Party knows this.


“As I explained last February, the Government are under a further obligation to introduce such equality protections for this community under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement equivalence provisions. 


“Sinn Féin supports the right to civil partnership, we believe that it should not be seen as a substitute for the right to marry.  Full equality for gays and lesbians will be achieved only when same sex couples can enter into either civil partnerships or marriages, according to their own choice. The Civil Unions Bill is a step in the right direction and I urge the Government parties, in particular the Green Party to stop making up excuses and support the motion to progress this legislation immediately, in the interest of basic equality and human rights for the gay and lesbian community in Ireland.” CRÍOCH



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