The Taoiseach has claimed that the recognition of a ‘durable relationship’ would not be sufficient to confer family status. However, No campaigners have said the Government cannot know in advance how the courts will interpret “durable relationships” and Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman has admitted the same.
Mr Varadkar was speaking at the launch of Fine Gael’s campaign for a Yes-Yes vote in forthcoming referenda on family and on carers.
He said the Govt chose the word ‘durable’ over ‘committed’ or ‘intimate’ relationships, but denied it necessarily implies a family.
“Lots of people have all sorts of durable relationships – business relationships, for example, that might go on for decades. Nobody’s going to be able to drop down to the courts and say that makes them a family.”
This is because there are other tests that are set out in the Constitution already, he said.
“A family must be the natural, primary fundamental unit in society, it must be a moral institution, with inalienable and imprescriptible rights as the necessary basis of social order and indispensable for the welfare of the State,” he said, quoting some Constitutional phrasing.
“So those are the kinds of things the court will have to look at, but the intention, the plan here is very clear.”