Question to: Proinsias De Rossa
Issue: Civil rights, data protection and political participation
Question sent by

What are your policies around the lack of equality and rights for gay people in Ireland?

Specifically, what are your views around gay marriage, partnership rights, adoption, and the discrimination allowed by religious institutions that is enshrined in our Employment Equality Act legislation, and what will you do to address these issues?
Reply from
Proinsias De Rossa

Dear ,

Thank you for your question.

My goal and that of the Labour Party is full equality for gay citizens. The path we have chosen is that of legislation, which gives gay couples all the rights and responsibilities of marriage. Labour introduced our own Civil Unions Bill to the Dáil twice since 2007, and twice it has been voted down by the Government. It is likely that a referendum will be needed to provide for full marriage equality between same sex couples and we will support such a referendum. An equal right to marry is not a gay issue - it´s a citizenship issue.

I support the adoption of the draft directive proposed by the European Commission last year tackling discrimination in the provision of services and goods on a number of grounds, including in relation to sexual orientation. Further information on this proposal is available at I regret however that the Lisbon Treaty is not in force because if it were, directly-elected MEPS would have a greater decision-making role in the adoption of this measure than we do at present and would be able to insist on higher levels of protection.

I also support the full and correct implementation in Ireland of the existing EU anti-discrimination directives in Ireland. I have repeatedly raised this issue with the Commission -

Best wishes,