Tuesday, 10 March 2015
An Bille um an gCeathrú Leasú is Tríocha ar an mBunreacht (Comhionannas Pósta) 2015: An Dara Céim - Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution (Marriage Equality) Bill 2015: Second Stage
I welcome the opportunity to contribute to the Second Stage debate on this Bill, which, like much of the legislation introduced in this House, is landmark, progressive legislation which recognises the need for equality. As a nation, we have always prided ourselves on being a compassionate and caring nation. Those of us in public life for many years have come across many instances in which that caring and compassion did not always apply. It is important we recognise how others feel when, for whatever reason, they are isolated.
The Minister and all those associated with the introduction of this legislation are to be complimented on the manner in which it addresses fundamental issues in our society at this particular time. It is particularly important that the progressive nature of this legislation is recognised. It is easy to shy away from difficult issues on the basis of convention or on the basis that we should not change for one reason or another. It is timely that this legislation is before the House. It is also worth mentioning that there is all-party support for this legislation. It was previously suggested that this debate would be divisive. I do not see any reason that should be the case.
When enacted, this legislation will recognise the situations of a minority of people. Our society must be an inclusive society.