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 Frances FitzgeraldFrances Fitzgerald (Minister, Department of Justice and Equality; Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I repeat what I have already said. The proposed constitutional amendment is not about children or education but rather about marriage. It is misleading to seek to add issues into the equation which are not relevant to the aim of the proposed amendment. Senators are speaking about assisted human reproduction legislation or the children and families legislation but we are now legislating for rights that people do not have at present. That is the job of the Dáil and Seanad. We are legislators and we are legislating for the rights that we have discussed in the course of the Children and Family Relationships Bill. In future, there will be legislation relating to assisted human reproduction. That refers to legal rights rather than constitutional rights. With regard to constitutional rights, there is no proposal to change any protection that people have with regard to freedom of conscience or religion. We are talking about extending the right to marriage to same-sex couples.

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