Rights Watchdog Comments on Storm Surrounding Creighton's Anti-Equality Remarks

24 Feb 2011

Prospective ministers must prove competence and commitment says ICCL

In its eve-of-poll statement, issued today (24 February 2011), Ireland's leading human rights organisation, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) urged party leaders to ensure that the candidates whom they designate fit for ministerial office genuinely have the competence and commitment to fill their prospective roles.

ICCL Director Mr. Mark Kelly said:

"The ICCL is not a political organisation and it does not campaign for political purposes; however, it is firmly of the view that persons whom party leaders designate fit for ministerial office must have the competence and commitment to fill their prospective roles".

"A human rights organisation cannot but be concerned if a party spokesperson on equality espouses views that demonstrate a fundamentally flawed understanding of that brief. As the Government's own Colley Report concluded, only full civil marriage for same sex couples constitutes full equality. Civil partnership is an important step in the right direction, but is no substitute for full equality. Moreover, for an equality spokesperson to suggest that the procreative aspect of heterosexual marriage is its defining characteristic is simply preposterous" Mr. Kelly added.

"Elsewhere, including in the United Kingdom and the United States, moves are afoot to upgrade civil partnership to full marriage and to recognise existing same sex marriages. The tide has turned on this issue and there should be no place at the Cabinet table for anyone who lacks the competence or commitment to modernise Ireland's laws to provide the full equality which has been denied to same sex couples for far too long" Mr. Kelly concluded.


Due to the constraints of the pre-poll moratorium, the ICCL will not be commenting further at this time.