Marriage Equality – a national not for profit organisation working for equality for same sex couples – has welcomed the news that Cork City Council has become the first local authority in the Republic of Ireland to officially support civil marriage for same sex couples. The motion was passed unanimously last night, having been put forward by Sinn Féin councillor Michael Nugent.
“This is a wonderful step by Cork City Council, and we’d like to thank all of the councillors for their support, and particularly Cllr Nugent for taking the initiative to raise awareness of this important issue at a local level”, said Marriage Equality Director Moninne Griffith. “The fact that the motion was passed unanimously shows that the people of Cork really believe in essential Irish values of justice, equality, fairness, and respect.”****
Earlier this month, Belfast City Council passed its own motion in favour of marriage equality, put forward by Sinn Féin councillor Mary Ellen Campbell. Several prominent TDs have also voiced their personal support for the issue in the past week, including Justice Minister Alan Shatter, Deputy Brian Hayes, Transport Minister Leo Varadkar, and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, who referred to marriage equality as “the civil rights issue of the generation”.****
“Recent figures show that over 700 couples have registered civil partnerships in every county in Ireland,” added Ms Griffith. “We hope other local authorities will follow the example set by Cork & Belfast City Council and pass their own motions in favour of marriage equality, to send a powerful message that same sex couples, our families and our children deserve equality. Some day soon the marriage ban for same sex couples will be lifted, and statistics like these will be unremarkable. With 73% popular support, including TDs, ministers and local authorities, the time for marriage equality is now.”