Healy-Rae to vote against gay marriage

The councillor who made international news by calling for a relaxing of the drink driving laws for rural people is to oppose a motion supporting gay marriage.

Danny Healy-Rae yesterday confirmed he will vote against such a motion at next Monday’s meeting of Kerry County Council because he has “serious concerns’’ about same-sex couples adopting children.

“I’m not against gay people, or anything like that. That’s their business, but I would be very worried in regard to adoption. If adoption was out of it, it would be a different story altogether,’’ he said.

The independent councillor said he had not been lobbied by any side on the gay marriage issue and could not understand the urgency of putting a motion before the council.

The motion has been tabled by Gillian Wharton-Slattery (Labour) who said she is expecting support from other councillors.

The Tralee councillor also said it would be a personal decision for each councillor and she had not lobbied any of them. “I will respect their decision, whatever it is. There will be no argument, but I would very much appreciate their support.”

Ciarraí Amach, a Kerry-based organisation that promotes the rights of the gay, lesbian. bisexual and transgender community, welcomed her motion and her support for minority groups.

Martin Greenwood, of the group, said history was made last July, when Cork City Council became the first local authority to vote for gay marriage. A number of other local authorities have since passed similar motions.

Since the introduction of civil partnerships for same-sex couples in Apr 2011, almost 1,000 partnerships have been recorded, including 18 in Kerry.

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