Labour leader and deputy leader Eamon Gilmore is now the most senior politician to step out in support of gay marriage in Ireland. Gilmore said this weekend during Dublin’s Gay Pride celebrations that the issue of gay marriage will be included in the upcoming constitutional convention. reported  on Tanaiste Gilmore’s remarks made on Saturday while he was speaking at Merrion Square, the culmination point of Dublin’s annual Gay Pride Parade.

Said Gilmore in what is now considered a “historic” statement, “I believe that in certain key areas, our laws are out of step with public opinion. I don’t believe for example that it should ever be the role of the State to pass judgement on whom a person falls in love with, or whom they want to spend their life with.”

“That is why the issue of same-sex marriage is to be included for consideration by the constitutional convention. I believe in gay marriage. The right of gay couples to marry is, quite simply, the civil rights issue of this generation and, in my opinion, its time has come.”

Kieran Rose, chairman of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, responded to Gilmore’s statement by saying “To move to marriage now and provide full Constitutional equality for lesbian and gay people is not a massive legislative leap; it is an incremental step, building on the success of our Civil Partnership legislation.”

By coming out in support of same-sex marriage, Gilmore falls in line with a Red C poll conducted earlier this year which found that more than 70 per cent of people believed that same-sex marriage should be allowed under the Irish constitution.

Gilmore offered his historic comments during Dublin’s 29th annual Gay Pride celebrations. For the first year ever, members from every political party had representation at the capital city’s festivities, which were marked by a parade attended by nearly 30,000 people.