West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Equal marriage debate about equality

Published: 29 April, 2014

Omagh Sinn Féin Councillor Sorcha McAnespy speaking on the party's motion to the Assembly on marriage equality, said establishing an equal society means recognising the many diverse groups and sections of Irish society that need enhanced protection from the State.

Councillor McAnespy said:

"Sinn Fein advocates the right to social, economic, gender and cultural equality. This encompasses equality for all, irrespective of race, age, marital or family status, sexual orientation, physical or mental capacities, ethnicity, social origin, political or religious affiliations.

"Republicans are only too aware of what it means to be treated as second class citizens. Our politics are the result of decades of resistance to marginalisation and discrimination.

"Sinn Fein motion specifically includes 'supports freedom of religion by allowing religious institutions to define, observe and practise marriage according to their beliefs, granting them the freedom whether or not to conduct same-sex marriages.'

"We are not here to legislate according to our consciences; we are here to legislate on the basis of equality. Some say Sinn Féin will lose votes because we raised this rights issue; others say we are using it to gain votes. Simple matter is both are wrong - Sinn Féin brought this motion forward because we believe in equality and human rights for all."