Seanad debates

Friday, 27 March 2015

An Bille um an gCeathrú Leasú is Tríocha ar an mBunreacht (Comhionannas Pósta) 2015: Céim an Choiste - Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution (Marriage Equality) Bill 2015: Committee Stage


10:30 am

Photo of Rónán MullenRónán Mullen (Independent) | Oireachtas source

I do not think so. Senator Barrett is wrong. In the context of this debate, I have been extremely careful to try to separate the issue of love and respect for people's dignity, which it should be everyone's duty to promote, and the particular question of what marriage means, and whether a change in that would undermine children's rights in certain circumstances.Senator Barrett should reflect on his position in that regard, but he is entitled to his view.

I do not know whether this will lead to a constitutional challenge, but the public will note what the Government is trying to do. Irish people are astute. They do not like things being rammed down their throats. They do not like being emotionally bullied. They do not like being put on the bad step simply because they take a different view. That is what the Government is trying to do to them. They have also shown a great ability to distinguish between issues. The example that springs to mind is the occasion when, on the same day, the people voted to allow for a reduction in judges' pay but voted against allowing Oireachtas committees of inquiry to make findings of fact that could be adverse to people's reputations. They smelled the rat of politicians losing the run of themselves sitting in judgment over other people.


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