Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Questions (419)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

419. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 752 of 25 March 2014 if he will elucidate just what he means by religious schools having to provide full and accurate factual information on the matter to students and the way such a view would impact denominational schools that may hold the view that same-sex marriage does not constitute marriage at all; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15231/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I refer the Deputy to my answer to Parliamentary Question No. 752 of 25 March 2014 in which I said "As I indicated in my response to Parliamentary Question No. 399 of 11 March 2014, "No school will be obliged to change its religious teachings in relation to marriage. Of course, where a school covers issues relating to civil marriage in its teaching programme, it is to be presumed that it would, in doing this, provide full and accurate factual information on the matter to students."

If a referendum were passed allowing the Oireachtas to legislate for same-sex marriage and if, as a consequence, it became legally possible for same-sex couples to marry in a civil ceremony, it is to be presumed that schools, where this issue arises in teaching programmes, would provide accurate factual information on the changed legal situation. In the same context, denominational schools would continue to be in a position to outline their particular views on this issue.