Today, the Irish Government has committed to holding the referendum on same-sex marriage in May 2015, following the recommendation of the Constitutional Convention in 2013.
The Cabinet agreed today to hold the long-awaited referendum on the legalisation of same-sex marriage in May of next year. While no exact date for voting has been confirmed, the first week of the month is being considered.
Moninne Griffith, Co-Director, Marriage Equality commented, “Marriage Equality has been campaigning on the ground for this announcement for almost a decade and we are delighted the countdown is officially on. This referendum is a people’s referendum, it’s a chance for us to directly shape the Ireland we want to live in. Lesbian and gay couples want to marry for the same reason as all couples – as a public display of their love and commitment.”
She continued, “Irish people are incredibly fair and have an innate sense of justice which this referendum appeals to. Most people in Ireland have a gay or lesbian son or daughter, grandson, relative and friend. Denying their love through civil marriage makes no sense. Irish people are ready for marriage equality.”
Andrew Hyland, Co-Director, Marriage Equality, added, “The high support for marriage equality among Irish people of all ages is encouraging. Our biggest threat is our supporters taking these figures as fact and bowing out of voting. Our message is ‘Every Vote Counts’, if you want to see marriage equality in Ireland then vote and get your family and friends to vote, the power is in your hands.”
“We want to see as many young people vote as possible. This is about them creating the Ireland they want to live in. Equally, it’s an opportunity for older people to leave a legacy they can be proud of. This referendum isn’t about politics. It’s about real lives, real people and real love. It’s a referendum from the people for the people,” he concluded.
Kieran Rose, chair of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network said, “We welcome the Government decision to outline the timeframe for the referendum. The referendum will put the question of equality in the Constitution for lesbian and gay couples to the people, as recommended by the Constitutional Convention. The referendum, if carried, will complete the remarkable journey to Constitutional equality for lesbian and gay people in Ireland.”
The most recent Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll published last week showed that 80 percent of voters were in favour of the introduction of civil marriage for same-sex couples. Celebrities including Colin Farrell and Hozier publically expressed support for the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Ireland.
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