Councillors vote for gay marriages

Andrew Phelan

A SECOND Dublin council has voted in favour of full marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.

South Dublin County Council voted unanimously to back same-sex marriages last night following two separate motions on the issue by Sinn Fein and Labour Party members.

Dublin City Council passed similar motions last week.

The Sinn Fein motion stated that the council "supports the same rights and entitlements to civil marriage for all citizens of South Dublin regardless of race, religion or sexuality".

While a similar Labour motion stated: "That this council believes that couples of the same sex should be able to avail of the same civil marriage rights and recognition as heterosexual couples". It also sought to "communicate this viewpoint to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence".

The mayor, Cllr Cathal King (SF), noted that there was "growing support" for same sex marriage across the political spectrum, and said it was important to give equality to those who were denied it at present.

He said they needed to know they were "not second-class citizens in their own country".

On the absence of equality, he said: "This will be one of those things we will look back on in 10 or 20 years and say 'what the hell were we thinking?'"

Mr King added that that once equal marriage was "across the board", same sex couples should be "entitled to become fathers and mothers".

Cllr Maire Devine (SF) said that "expression of love and commitment is something that society needs an awful lot more of and it's something that should be encouraged".