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Senator opposes Freedom of Concience Amendment to CP Bill

December 2nd, 2009 · 1 Comment · Irish Politics, Same Sex Partnerships

Very interesting blog post from FG Senator Paschal Donohue opposing the tabling never mind inclusion of an amendment to the Civil Partnership Bill allowing service providers and others not to provide services to those taking part in Civil Partnerships.

Paschal has three reasons for his opposition.

1. Firstly, the law is the law. We cannot chose what parts of the law we want to implement based on our own views or beliefs. We’ve seen to our cost as a country what happens when the universal application of law to all,regardless of their status and wealth, is either subverted or nor implemented. We could not allow this to be placed on a statutory footing for any reason.The idea that some people can refuse to implement the law is just plain wrong. Gay people pay their taxes just like the rest of us- they deserve nothing less than the same services everyone receives.

2. Secondly, are we really saying that a registrar, paid for by our taxes,who is charged with implementing the law could decide whether to implement the law or not? The same registrar regularly registers (I assume) marriages of people who are divorced , and freedom of conscience has never been raised in relation to this.

3. Thirdly, the use this clause would breach existing equality legislation. The Employment Equality Act 1998 and the Equal Status Act 2000 state that it is an offence to discriminate against a person on the grounds of gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religious belief, age, disability, race or as a member of the Traveller Community.

That’ll make FG parliamentary party meetings interesting as the Bill makes its way through the Oireachtas.

Any reactions from other politicians on the matter?

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