2 out of 3 ain’t bad: Marriage equality supported in Dublin and Newry
Further marriage equality motions are expected to be put before South Dublin County Council, Fingal County Council, Dungannon, Dundalk, Fermanagh, Waterford and Derry.
If we fall behind Cork on this I will actually die of embarrassment.
— Daragh Quinn (@DaraghQuinn) September 3, 2012
Last night saw Dublin City Council overwhelmingly pass two motions in support of marriage equality. The vote was followed closely on Twitter, with #justlovedublin and #dubcc trending through the evening.
Proposed by Labour’s Jane Horgan-Jones (Clontarf) and Sinn Féin (led by Cllr. Larry O’Toole), respectively, the capital’s Councillors supported the motions by 38 votes in favour, four votes against, with one abstention. Nine councillors who were not present to vote.
The councillors opposed to the motion were Paddy McCartan, Bill Tormey, Edie Wynne and Ruairi McGinley. All four are members of Fine Gael.
— Marriage Equality (@marriagequality) September 3, 2012
Marriage Equality welcomed the news last night, with Director Moninne Griffith stating:
This is a wonderful step by Dublin City Council to raise awareness of this important issue at a local level. We’d like to thank the councillors from both Labour and Sinn Féin for their initiative, and our supporters in Dublin who spoke to their councillors over the last few months about raising the issue.
Marriage equality is not just a national issue, it’s a local one. It’s about respecting and protecting loving couples and families who are part of our communities and treating them as equal. That is why putting the issue on the agenda at local level is so important.
In June, Cork City Council became the first local authority in the Republic to support marriage equality when a motion, put forward by Sinn Féin councillor Michael Nugent, was passed unanimously. Local authorities across Ireland are resuming their sessions this month. During the summer, councillors from city and county councils around Ireland were in contact with Marriage Equality about plans to bring their own motions of support forward in the coming months.
Ms Griffith added:
We are delighted at the response we’ve received from councils around the country. In the coming weeks, we look forward to seeing a dramatic rise in the number of local authorities voicing their support for marriage equality, and sending a powerful message from their communities to the government that same sex couples, our families and our children deserve equality.
With 73% popular support, including TDs, government ministers and local authorities, the time for marriage equality is now.
Marriage is not threatened by equality. Time to end this overt discrimination against a group of citizens- Cllr Horgan Jones
— Adam Long (@adamlong80) September 3, 2012
GLEN also responded last night to strongly welcome the Council’s vote. Brian Sheehan, Director, said:
This is another welcome demonstration of the transformation in attitudes to lesbian and gay people in Ireland. Based on the success of civil partnerships, political and public support for civil marriage is growing rapidly.
Today’s motions in Dublin City Council are further evidence that the tide of public and political opinion has shifted towards an acceptance of marriage for same-sex couples. We commend the Councillors on passing the motions.
Civil marriage would achieve full constitutional equality for lesbian and gay couples, and would send out a powerful message that same-sex relationships are equal to others.
Dublin City Council has strongly supported lesbian and gay inclusion in Dublin city over many years, including the second-largest public parade – Dublin Pride – each year, and support many other LGBT cultural events.
Newry and Fermanagh
The outcome of votes taken in the North was mixed.
The marriage equality motion in Newry & Mourne Council – again proposed by Sinn Féin – was overwhelmingly passed with 21 for, four against, and one abstention.
The wording of the motion in was similar to that in Dublin:
Newry & Mourne District Council supports the same rights and entitlements to civil marriages for all citizens of Newry & Mourne regardless of race, religion or sexuality.
The vote comes on the eve of Newry Pride, which runs from 22nd-30th September 2012.
Meanwhile in Fermanagh, the SDLP abstained on the marriage equality vote, meaning that the motion fell. The motion was defeated by nine votes to eight.
There are 6 DUP and 4 UUP Councillors, to 9 Sinn Féin 3 SDLP and one independent. But when it came to the vote the unionist block (less the UUP vice chair) was one more than the Sinn Féin vote (less the council chair) while the three SDLP Councillors John O’Kane, Brendan Gallagher and Frank Britton all abstained.
The Fermanagh Herald reports that the independent councillor, Bernice Swift, was not present for the vote.