Should gay cousins be allowed to marry?
Independent Irish Senator David Norris told the Seanad’s upper house that “yes,” they should, during a debate over the marriage equality bill on Wednesday evening.
The bill, which has passed the Dáil and today passed its second stage in the Seanad, will undergo more debate at a committee stage tomorrow before it goes to President Michael Higgins to be signed into law.
Norris, a gay man, predicted he would be “pilloried” by the “grotesque Irish media” for his remarks, The Journal reports.
Said Norris to the Seanad:
“It wouldn’t take a feather out of me if two cousin married each other, what’s the problem with that. Really?”
In a poll on the Irish Times website 35% agreed with Norris and 65% disagreed, at the time of this posting.
He added, cheering the change in attitudes regarding same-sex marriage: “When I started off [in politics] it was a world of hatred, contempt and silence. Gay people were regarded as sources of sin, crime and disease… Everything was clouded completely with silence. … I was extraordinarily moved by the many, many young people, both gay and straight, who came home from abroad to vote. I have heard so many moving stories of young people all over Ireland who have been given the courage for the first time to face the reality of their sexuality, come out, declare themselves and live their lives.”
Readers may recall that Norris ran a campaign for the Irish presidency in 2011. He bowed out after the disclosure of letters to Israeli authorities asking for clemency for a former partner.