A liberal Catholic group is campaigning for a ‘Yes’ result in the Marriage Equality Referendum in May.
The group, We Are Church Ireland, said that they fully support a ‘Yes’ vote in the upcoming referendum and that “social justice requires that loving, committed relationships between two consenting adults should be treated equally by the Irish State, regardless of gender or sexual orientation”.
In a refreshing turn, the Catholic group believes that anyone in a loving, committed relationship should have the same legal and financial rights as anyone else.
“Although civil partnership in Ireland was an [sic] significant step forward in relationship recognition […] There are important inequalities still remaining. These range from issues relating to the family home, finance, legal procedures and parent and child.”
This comes after a debate on RTE One on January 19 between between two opposing sides of the argument.
The group stated, “The Irish Constitution does not define marriage as between a man and a woman as Article 41.3.1 states that ‘The State pledges itself to guard with special care the institution of Marriage, on which the Family is founded, and to protect it against attack’. […] It was the 2004 Civil Registration Act that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. However, Irish Courts have consistently interpreted Article 41.3.1 as inferring that marriage is between a man and a woman.”
They also realise how the definition of marriage and marriage itself, have changed over the last century.
“Marriage is and has been a rapidly evolving institution. Marriage in the past in Irish society featured practices like arranged marriages, payment of dowries and the legally recognised inferior status of women. Marriage was seen as primarily about the protection of property and wealth rather than based on the free loving assent between two human persons.”
“The proposed Referendum will not redefine marriage but rather refine it to make it more inclusive and so enhance the meaning of marriage,” stated Brendan Butler, spokesperson.
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