Fine Gael Cork South Central TD and Chair of Fine Gael’s LGBT Group, Jerry Buttimer, has today (Saturday) welcomed the passage of a motion at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis in support of marriage equality.
“As a gay man and a member of Fine Gael, it makes me tremendously proud to see Party delegates not only choose to endorse this motion in support of marriage equality, but to endorse it overwhelmingly.
“I set about establishing Fine Gael’s first ever LGBT group two years ago, and since then I have received an enormous amount of support from colleagues and friends within the Party.
“There has been a considerable level of debate around the issue of homophobia in recent weeks. In my view, the debate on extending marriage rights to gay people isn’t about homophobia, or even about the institution of marriage itself, it is about equality.
“Fine Gael is an inclusive party, with a strong tradition of advancing a progressive social agenda. Ahead of the referendum next year, I look forward to discussing the merits of marriage equality at length with both my Fine Gael colleagues, and those outside Party.
“The Irish have a wonderful reputation for being open, welcoming and giving people. Our society and our attitudes have moved forward significantly in the last few decades.
“I am proud to be a gay Irish man and a member of Fine Gael, and I truly hope that the strong support for marriage equality which is in evidence at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis will be replicated on referendum day next year.”