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Gay marriage in Ireland: referendum set for 2015

The people of Ireland will be able to vote on the legal status of same-sex marriage in a referendum next May, the Deputy Prime Minister has announced.

In their final meeting before Christmas, the Irish Cabinet agreed to hold the referendum, although a specific date has not yet been set.

The announcement was welcomed by gay marriage advocates across the country. Kieran Rose, chair of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network in Ireland, said a successful referendum would “complete the remarkable journey to Constitutional equality for lesbian and gay people”.

Recent polling suggests that same-sex marriage will be legalised. The latest survey taken by the Irish Times found that 71 per cent of the voting public would support such a change in the law. In August, a pro-gay marriage march took place in Dublin.

Despite the positive polls, advocates for same-sex marriage are not taking anything for granted.

“Our biggest threat is our supporters taking these figures as fact and bowing out of voting,” said the co-chair of campaign group Marriage Equality Andrew Hyland.

He added that the referendum was a chance for young people to create “the Ireland they want to live in” and for older people to “leave a legacy they can be proud of”.

Gay marriage will not be the only issue on the ballot. On the same day, Irish citizens will also be asked to decide on a change in the country’s constitution which would lower the minimum age for presidential candidates from 35 to 21.

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  1. Andrew says:

    And If the vote is No will the proponents accept it or will they ask for another and another and another referendum until they get the answer they want?

    If I were a voter in Ireland, regardless of my personal views, I would ask every political party to undertake that if it goes No they will not support another referendum for five or even seven years.

  2. Pierce Buckley says:

    The prev comment is a bit like saying that people who are abused should only ask once of he abuser that the abuse stop. That is quite a limited and senseless view of life, love, rights, abuse. It is also a very limited understanding of a Constitution.
    Ignorance is ok – if accompanied by an honest willingness to learn. There is nothing as effective in preventing the emergence of truth and love and such as “certainty”. I am not not gay but I would hate to be even the slightest bit abusive to Gay and Lesbian rights.
    Some argue that to pass this would diminish children’s rights and there again the ignorance (lack of knowledge) is astounding.
    Children deserve that this is voted into law. Make no mistake about it and if you dont know why then open mindedness will lead you to an answer.

  3. Andrew says:

    Oh please. Now not having same-sex marriage equals child abuse!

    In 1937 the Irish people of that generation adopted a constitution under which SSM would be impossible – hardly surprising in 1937! Now it is proposed to change it by the only method by which it can be changed: by referendum of the present generation.

    It is likely to be controversial and divisive – both asides will speak their minds freely and openly and that is how it should be. The result should then be loyally accepted for a substantial period of time. You can be very certain that if the vote is Yes in 2015 there will be no attempt to reverse it in 2016 and the smae should apply both ways.

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