Tuesday 27 June 2017

Kenny challenged on gay marriage vote

Taoiseach Enda Kenny argues that the referendum is about promoting equality
Taoiseach Enda Kenny argues that the referendum is about promoting equality
John Downing

John Downing

The Taoiseach has been taken to task for comments about the role of schools if the same-sex referendum is passed by voters on May 22.

The campaign organisation 'Mothers and Fathers Matter' said it was alarmed at a statement made by Mr Kenny that Catholic schools "will be expected to teach children that people in this country, in Ireland, in 2016, will have the right to get married irrespective of their sexual orientation".

Dr Tom Finnegan for the organisation asked whether schools would be allowed to refuse to do this. If not, would schools be allowed to state the Catholic belief that marriage can only take place between two people of the opposite sex.

"We call on Enda Kenny to issue this clarification immediately. The grave implications for freedom of religion, and not just for Catholic schools, should be obvious to all," Dr Finnegan said.

"If Mr Kenny does not show that his Government respects the right of religious schools to teach what is in accordance with their ethos, we will certainly be making an issue of this in the coming referendum campaign," he added.

The Taoiseach's comments came in an interview with RTÉ's Sean O'Rourke as he predicted a big 'Yes' campaign by all parties. Mr Kenny said it was an opportunity to respond to the changed family patterns.

A spokesman for Mr Kenny last night repeated the Taoiseach's argument that the referendum was about promoting equality. "Tolerance and inclusivity are also Christian virtues," the Taoiseach's spokesman said.

Irish Independent

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