YOUNG Fine Gael in Limerick is urging city councillors to back Mayor Gerry McLoughlin in his support for gay marriage.
After a motion in favour of full marriage rights for same-sex couples was passed at Cork City Council, the Labour mayor spoke in favour of adopting a similar resolution in Limerick but said he would first have to speak to councillors of all parties to ensure majority support.
Earlier this month, Fine Gael’s Cllr Cormac Hurley told the Limerick Leader he would not be in favour of such a motion while party colleague Cllr Michael Hourigan was also lukewarm.
“There are arguments on both sides, but what it comes down to is the children, and this is the most important matter,” he said.
Limerick Young Fine Gael has now written to all 17 councillors seeking their support in a rights struggle they compare to women’s suffrage in the early 20th century and civil rights in the United States in the 1960s.
“For our generation, and for many in the generations gone before us, we see injustice in the world when marriage is denied to us or those we care about simply because they are gay,” the letter states.
“Limerick Young Fine Gael would like to thank Mayor McLoughlin for his immediate action on the issue of marriage equality following his election. We enthusiastically support marriage equality and will be strongly backing this motion when it is brought to the council.
“We recognise that there are various arguments against marriage equality, with one of the most frequent being the concern for the children within such a union. This is an argument that Limerick Young Fine Gael does not accept.”
The letter cites research from the University of Southern California and New York University which found children of same-sex couples fare just as well as those from more traditional marriages and “often they fare even better”. Young Fine Gael in Limerick also “fully endorses” same-sex adoptions.
“We thank the Mayor for his commitment to this issue and we urge all councillors to stand with him,” the letter concludes.
While Young Fine Gael are yet to receive a response from any of the councillors they have canvassed, Labour’s Cllr Tom Shortt and Sinn Fein’s Cllr Maurice Quinlivan have already publicly expressed their support for such a motion.