Saturday 27 December 2014

Lucinda Creighton will support gay marriage if referendum passed

Published 13/07/2013 | 18:24

FINE GAEL rebel Lucinda Creighton will support legislation for gay marriage if Irish people vote in favour of it, she said today.

Speaking with Marian Finucance on RTE Radio, the former Junior Minister hit out at any suggestion she is against “gay rights” and believes a referendum on gay marriage will be held in the future.

She also said that she would not be campaigning against gay marriage in the run-up to any vote.

“I believe this will go to a referendum - I’ve said that before and if the Irish people vote in favour of gay marriage, I’ll vote for gay marriage in the Oireachtas to recognise that position.

“At the moment, that is not recognised by the Constitiution, it’s recognised and understood to be marriage between a man and a woman. At this moment in time, that’s the definitition I support.

“It’s not a fundamental issue for me in the way that abortion is.

“Some people would be very angry that I have that view, and I certainly don’t wish to offend anybody, and as I say I will certainly respect the view of the Irish people if there is a referendum on this issue and they vote for gay marriage then.”

When asked if she would campaign against gay marriage, she said: “No I won’t - I’ve no intention of doing that. It’s such a sensitive issue and people have to make up their own minds on it.”

Earlier she told Marian that she never meant to come across as being opposed to gay rights.

“To be honest I’ve never meant or intended to somehow seem as if I’m against gay rights.”

“I mean I would point to the only legislation that we have dealt with in the Oireachtas which is the Civil Partnership legislation where very few members of the Dail were prepared to go in and actually speak to the legislation [sic] because they were afraid to.

“Because they maybe didn’t fully agree with it or they didn’t feel comfortable talking about it.

“And I did, I spoke at second stage and I supported the legislation because I felt that it was wrong that gay people in Ireland couldn’t have their relationships legitimised and recognised by the State, that they couldn’t enjoy tax rights and so on.

“I mean loads of my friends are gay.

“I don’t see msyelf in any sense as being opposed to gay rights but I did express a view before the election, which by the way was also expressed by the party but then it changed their mind, that we didn’t support gay marriage which is, I suppose, for some the ultimate destination but not for everybody.

“I have many gay friends who don’t support gay marriage either,” she said.

“So when people have labelled me as being somehow ‘anti-gay’, I don’t accept that at all, not for one second.”

When asked why she would draw the line at gay marriage, she pointed to the definition of marriage as it is at present in the Constititution and how she believes it should be protected.

“Well I think the definition of marriage as it’s understood in the State has always been obviously and continues to be marriage between a man and a woman and there are reasons for protecting that particular status and giving it a certain status in Irish life in terms of children’s rights and so on,” she said.

During the 40 minute intervew, she also spoked about the Dail bar, saying it could get “messy” during a late night when the Dail is sitting.

“I don’t spend much time in it. I go in there for my lunch and for coffee in the afternoon and I would rarely be in there at night.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing - but if it’s abused, obviously it’s a bag thing.

“And I think sometimes there’s maybe an atmosphere if it’s a late night and people are sitting around and they go to the bar, one drink leads to another and it can end up a little bit messy and that’s certainly not good for anybody, particularly our citizens,” she said.

The politician told listeners that she spent Friday clearing out her office in the Department of the Taoiseach, and moved to a new office in Leinster House.

She resigned as Minister for European Affairs after voting against the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill on Thursday night and lost the party whip. Her Fine Gael colleague Pascal Donohue has now replaced her in the department.

After the move, she went horseriding in the Dublin Mountains, an activity she does regularly.

She told listeners that she loves equestrian sports, and with the exception of her husband Fine Gael Senator Paul Bradford, her two loves in life are “politics and horses”.

 

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