EU parliament calls for recognition of gay unions

18 Jan 2009

Author: Kieron Wood

All four Fianna Fáil MEPs have voted in favour of a European Parliament resolution calling for the recognition of same-sex unions throughout the EU.

The resolution - which was carried by 401 votes to 220, with 67 abstentions - also stressed the need to ''raise public awareness of the right to reproductive and sexual health''.

It called on EU member states to facilitate access to contraception ''in order to prevent all unwanted pregnancies and illegal and high-risk abortions''.

On the issue of sexual orientation, the resolution said that ''discriminatory comments against homosexuals by religious, social and political leaders fuel hatred and violence'', and it called on governing bodies to condemn them. Fianna Fáil MEPs Liam Aylward, Brian Crowley, Seán O' Neachtain and Eoin Ryan voted in favour of the resolution.

Other Irish MEPs who backed the resolution were Colm Burke, Avril Doyle and Jim Higgins of Fine Gael, the Labour Party's Proinsias De Rossa and Mary Lou McDonald of Sinn Féin.

Kathy Sinnott and Marian Harkin both voted against the resolution, while Fine Gael MEPs Mairead McGuinness and Gay Mitchell both abstained.

The parliament urged the European Commission to submit proposals ''ensuring that member states apply the principle of mutual recognition for homosexual couples, whether they are married or living in a registered civil partnership, in particular when they are exercising their right to free movement under EU law''.

The resolution said that the Lisbon Treaty, ''which is currently undergoing ratification'', made explicit reference to the Charter of Fundamental Rights and gave it the same legal Kathy Sinnott value as the treaties.


Article taken from The Sunday Business Post.