Fine Gael Cork South Central Deputy and Chair of the Party’s LGBT Group, Jerry Buttimer, has yesterday (Thursday) said he is delighted to accept a position on the Constitutional Convention as part of the Fine Gael delegation and he is honoured to play his part in this new forum that will contribute significantly to the formation of public policy into the future.
“I was delighted to be asked by An Taoiseach to play a role in the Constitutional Convention. The Convention will be tasked with examining a whole range of issues in a bid to assess whether they should be put to the people in a Referendum to allow for Constitutional change.
“The work of the Convention will be debated by the Oireachtas, with a public response being given to each recommendation within four months. Among the issues being examined is the provision for same-sex marriage. This is a sensitive issue and one which must be given careful consideration. This forum will allow the issues that are of concern to the public to be teased out and for a full and frank debate on the issue to take place.
“The Civil Partnership Bill put the first block in place to allow for same-sex union. We are now working towards full equality for same-sex couples with full marriage the next step on the road to equal citizenship.
“The recommendations of the Constitutional Convention will progress this issue and will gives us a better understanding of the public mood on this, and many other important issues, such as a review of the Dail electoral system and encouraging greater participation of women in public life.
“With 66 members of the public taking part in the Convention it is the first time that the general public will be given an active role in the direction the country takes in terms of policy formation. I am glad too that members from all political parties in Northern Ireland have been included in the process and I am hopeful that they will accept the invitation to do so.
“The initial issues being examined by the Convention are reducing the Presidential terms to five years and reducing the voting age to 17. Following examination of these issues any necessary refinements to the Convention can be made before it the rest of the work is commenced. I am delighted to play my part in this new and inclusive forum and look forward to seeing the changes that come about as a result.”