Marriage Equality welcomes new Fine Gael LGBT group
30 Apr 2012
On Saturday Marriage Equality welcomed the inaugural meeting of Fine Gael LGBT - "an inclusive group for party members who share a common goal of promoting full equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in our party, in our country and in our world."
Speaking from the meeting at Grand Canal Dock on Saturday evening, Marriage Equality Director Moninne Griffith said: "We are delighted to see such a strong commitment to equality from Fine Gael, and their commitment to making their party a welcoming, safe environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender party members. Today's meeting sends a strong message to young people who may be interested in joining political life that Fine Gael is a party committed to equality."
The meeting also featured Deputy Jerry Buttimer (Cork South-Central) sharing his personal story and "coming out" as an openly gay TD. He joins Ireland's two other openly gay TDs, Deputies John Lyons (Labour - Dublin North-West) and Dominic Hannigan (Labour - Meath East) as well as Senators David Norris and Katherine Zappone. Deputy Buttimer's statement was warmly welcomed by all present at the launch.
"Deputy Buttimer has been - and continues to be - a great ally to Marriage Equality, and a strong advocate for our cause. We're delighted he has chosen to be so open about his own sexuality - it sends a very positive message to people who may feel they have to hide their sexuality, especially young people. Having openly gay political figures also helps to dispel myths and misconceptions about gay people which can otherwise contribute to bullying and violence against LGBT people," said Ms. Griffith. "Fine Gael has committed itself to equality for LGBT people - not only in today's inaugural meeting of Fine Gael LGBT, but in their commitment at their Ard Fheis last month to prioritise the issue of marriage equality in the upcoming Constitutional Convention. We are looking forward to working closely with the government in the coming months to achieve equality for same-sex couples, our families and our children. We hope that in the near future Ireland will be able to count itself among countries such as Spain, the Netherlands and Portugal by legalising marriage equality for same-sex couples, and legislating for equality for our families and our children."