Labour would debate for ‘Yes’ on same-sex marriage

Labour would consider taking part in a live TV same sex marriage debate with No vote campaign representatives if a station makes an offer to organise such an event.

Labour would debate for ‘Yes’ on same-sex marriage

Speaking at the launch of the party’s Yes vote campaign in Dublin city centre, Communications Minister and campaign director Alex White said he would look at any plans but said none have been presented to date.

Weekend reports said Fine Gael and Labour are coming under increasing pressure from the No campaign to publicly debate the issue before the May 22 vote, as this was promised by Mr Kenny last year.

Independent senator Ronan Mullen said the live TV debate is needed because the heads of Government “should give a lead on any referendum”.

However, responding to the remarks yesterday, Mr White said while the proposal would be considered, he cannot agree to it yet as no TV station has put forward plans for the event to date.

Speaking at the same launch, Tánaiste Joan Burton said Labour has already held a series of public meetings across the country on the topic “so there’s quite a lot of opportunity for discussion”.

She said the No side appear to be “fixated on the notion of the ideal family, whatever that is” and that they are attempting “to sow the seeds of confusion and fear” through “offensive and preposterous” claims.

However, despite spending much of her campaign launch speech stressing the referendum is not about children, Ms Burton said this does not mean the Yes side is being dragged into a side issue on the vote.

Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week programme, Iona Institute founder David Quinn said if the referendum passes “we will be making a declaration that mothers and fathers have no special value to children”.

Meanwhile, in a letter read out at masses yesterday, the Bishop of Cork and Ross John Buckley advised congregations to reflect deeply before changing the definition of marriage which was a “natural reality”.

“History, the natural law, the religions of the world, human experience, the Bible, and just plain common sense tells us this,” he said.


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