Ireland: Kerry County Council to vote on equal marriage
County Kerry councillors are to be asked to back a motion supporting equal marriage, at its next meeting.
The motion was tabled by Labour Councillor, Gillian Wharton-Slattery, after she was approached by members of the gay community, asking why the motion had not been passed yet.
“They talked to me about how other councils had tabled and passed similar motions… And they asked why it hadn’t been done here too”, she told the Journal.
Ms Wharton-Slattery is fearful that councillors will break from the party line, despite support from the majority of political parties.
“It is an individual choice at the end of the day. I haven’t lobbied fellow councillors as I will let the democratic process exist in the chamber. People will make up their own minds. I have a sneaky feeling it could be in trouble getting through.”
She did say, however that she would remain “cautiously hopeful” that it would pass.
“I would be delighted for the 5.5 per cent of the population of Kerry that are gay for the motion to go through. We will have marriage equality eventually in this country. It would be nice to see what different councillors have to say on the matter.”
The vote is to be taken on Monday afternoon.
One councillor, Danny Healy-Rae, told the Irish Examiner that he would vote against the motion on Monday, because he had “serious concerns” about gay couples adoption children.
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“I’m not against gay people, or anything like that. That’s their business, but I would be very worried in regard to adoption. If adoption was out of it, it would be a different story altogether,’’ he said.
The first council to carry the motion, back in July 2012, was Cork City Council. Dublic City Council, Fingal County Council and Waterford City Council followed shortly afterwards.
Some senior politicians have spoken in favour of introducing equal marriage. A referendum would be required in order to introduce the legislation.
Back in January, Ireland’s Equality Tribunal, ordered a credit union to pay €24,000 (£20,190) towards an employee as a result of discrimination and victimisation on the basis of their sexual orientation.