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Irish deputy PM: The time has come for equal marriage

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  1. Yes, lets have a see a referendum on gay marriage, let the people vote decide not the politicians on whether to open marriage up to homosexuals.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 13 Nov 2012, 6:24pm

      So, dumb ass, you saw what three referenda in America did last week didn’t you? Those referenda were brought by the idiots like you but all three were blown out of the water by the electorate. The same will happen in Ireland and even if one were held in the UK, the same would happen here.

      Now how about calling for a referendum to disestablish the state cult as well as ban religious marriage entirely comparable to France? I’d be very careful what you wish for.

    2. That There Other David 14 Nov 2012, 10:24am

      Ireland WILL vote for marriage equality should a referendum be held. Will you shut up when that happens, because it WILL be the result. The Vatican of course will peddle their usual lies, but the Irish people are now fully awake to the abuse the unHoly See has inflicted on them for centuries. Even the Irish who fully identify as Catholic want nothing to do with the Catholic leadership.

      So ask yourself, do you still want a referendum? Because it WILL further destroy your argument.

      1. ‘Ireland WILL vote for marriage equality should a referendum be held. ‘

        How do you know?

        A 2 month campaign of deceit and lies by the bigots could easily overturn the current majority.

    3. “Yes, lets have a see a referendum on gay marriage, let the people vote decide not the politicians on whether to open marriage up to homosexuals.”

      And you’ll see the stupidity of your comment when you see how pro-marriage equality Ireland really is, won’t you Matt?

      You buffoon.

  2. “I don’t believe we should postpone what is a human right,”

    Yet he wants to hold a referendum on it?

    What type of nonsense is that?

    Human or civil rights should never be subject to a public vote.

    The Irish government needs to legislate for marriage equality (without some appallingly divisive referendum) and then let the Supreme Court hear any challenges to it.

    1. Ben Foster 13 Nov 2012, 7:22pm

      Referendums (or whatever the plural is) are the way things happen under the Irish constitution. It works that way.

      1. Oh, sorry, Ben: I seem to have duplicated your comment, more-or-less. I should learn to check the whole thread! :)


    2. You need a referendum to alter the constitution. It’s perfectly usual in Ireland.

      1. That There Other David 14 Nov 2012, 10:26am

        Bingo. There’s no way they can change the law without one.

        Not so in the UK.

        1. Why does the constitution need to be changed?

          Nowhere in the Irish constitution does it say a marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman only.

          Referenda are held so regularly in Ireland that I think people there are accepting the idea that their civil rights are not inalienable – they are dependent on popular opinion.

          That is utterly appalling.

          1. It needs to be put into the Bunreacht na hÉireann to copper fasten same-sex marriage as a constitutional right approved and supported by the people of Ireland.

            Any challenge in the Supreme Court supported by the RC Church, hardcore Christians and others will be thrown out.

          2. Again you are avoiding the possibility that same sex marriage is defeated in a referendum (which is a strong possibility considering the foul tactics opponents will use.

            If the country votes against equal marriage then it will be off the table for at least another 20 years.

            Quite frankly if the Irish Constitution is a document which requires majority rule on minority rights then it is a very suspect document.

      2. Why is a referendum needed – the constitution does not need to be changed.

        1. The Attorney General of Ireland disagrees with you.

    3. GingerlyColors 14 Nov 2012, 6:32am

      There is still a lot of opposition and hostility to LGBT people in South Africa but it does not stop them from having marriage equality. Having said that it would be nice if most people are happy to see us have the right to marry.

    4. “The Irish government needs to legislate for marriage equality (without some appallingly divisive referendum) and then let the Supreme Court hear any challenges to it.”

      You clearly do not understand the Irish legal system. Try Wikipedia.

  3. It was the Attorney General of the last government who claimed that a referendum was needed on marriage equality.

    However there are differing legal opinions on this,.

    If a referendum is required on marriage equality (which it isn’t – nowhere in the Irish constitution is marriage defined as between 1 man and 1 woman) then it means that Ireland had no head of state between the years of 1990-2011.

    The Irish constitutions refers to the Irish President as ‘he’ throughout – yet no referendum was held to determine whether Mary Robinson or Mary McAleese be allowed to hold the office of Irish President.

  4. if there is a referendum then it is blatantly obvious that the most appalling bigotry will be unleashed by religious groups.

    If the referendum on marriage equality is lost, then what does Mr Gilmore propose to do about our lack of human rights in that regard?

    If he regards marriage as a human rights then what safeguards is he going to put in place to ensure it happens?

    Even though almost 70% of the Irish public support marriage equality; that support can be easily eroded depending on how viciously the homophobes react to the referendum (in 1995 75% of the Irish population supported the introduction of divorce; yet the referendum was passed by only 50.1%.)

    1. The highest polled support for divorce was 69% but yes I take your point. However, socially, ireland is a very different country now. There is a very vocal and visible movement for marriage equality & the polls have shown support growing, some actually exceeding 70%. The church is embodied with one paedophiles scandal after another in Ireland so having them and their looney band of nut jobs opposing marriage equality will be beneficial.

      That said, I agree with you re the necessity to hold a referendum
      , I don’t think it’s needed!! There is nothing in the constitution defining marriage as between one man & one woman.

      1. The church will keep a low profile in the anti-equality campaign if a referendum is held.

        I can predict that the anti-equality campaign will use lies about children to persuade people to vote no.

  5. A referendum is needed whether we think it’s fair or not. I will take the opinion of the Attorney General (a liberal member of the Labour Party) over dAVID’s utterances any day of the week.

    Now let’s ensure it is brought to the people within the lifetime of this government and that we campaign effectively to make sure it passes.

    1. Why is a referendum needed on marriage equality; while none was needed to allow Mary Robinson or Mary McAleese to run for Irish presidency.

      The Irish constitution specifically refers to the Irish President as male.

      Nowhere in the Irish constitution is a marriage defined as being between 1 man and 1 woman.

      I’m not being deliberately argumentative – I’m asking out of genuine interest.

      1. I honestly can’t answer that. I’m nowhere near being a legal expert. My guess would be the ‘he’ used in the Constitution to refer to the President is taken as shorthand for both genders, as was fairly common at the time. Perhaps legal experts see females as being part of the “spirit” of the law as was originally written. On the other hand they don’t see same-sex marriage as being in the “spirit” of the original article on marriage. As I said I don’t know. But I will go with the advice of the Attorney General; she’s the only legal view that counts in this case.

        1. Where will you go with it?

  6. If a referendum on marriage equality fails it will mean that it will be at least 20 years before Ireland gains marriage equality.

    And anyone who witnessed the divorce referendum in Ireland will be well aware of the fearmongering and hatred the religious groups will unleash.

  7. Mr Gilmore, what are you talking about? We don’t have referendums on Human Rights.

    1. Cardinal Capone 13 Nov 2012, 11:47pm

      Referenda. But you’re right, human rights are the obligation of the legislature to protect.

  8. Pavlos Prince of Greece 13 Nov 2012, 7:19pm

    Referendum?.. What happen last Thursday in Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota, was of course, incredible Democratic/democratic/secular victory. But is this possible in Ireland too? The Republic still have Catholic character – and the latest discussions in ‘liberal’ France show, how important and dangerous this can be even in country with 207 years old institution of civil marriage and 107 years of history of state-church separation.

  9. Helen in Ireland 13 Nov 2012, 8:34pm

    My wife and I recently spoke with one of the Labour TD’s, who is a lawyer, and he believes that the referendum is the way to go, The Irish Constitution does not define marriage as being between a man and a woman, but that implication was ruled in a High Court case some years ago and so has precedence. If the Irish Government were to simply legislate for same-sex marriage then an anti-gay group could bring a constitutional challenge and it would most likely win based on the prior ruling.

    By having a winning constitutional referendum, marriage equality could not be challenged in the courts. As up to 73% of Irish people have been polled as agreeing with marriage equality, this route seems the safest. Religious orders would not be obliged to officiate a same-sex marriage if their church does not agree with it.

    The Catholic Church has lost a lot of standing and is indeed despised by many Irish people now.

    1. 6 months prior to the divorce referendum 75% of people supported it.

      The amendment was passed by 50,1%

      It is quite simply unacceptable that a referendum be held on a minority’s rights.

      The Irish Constitution is an incredibly suspicious document if that is the case.

      Does it mean that if by some freak of nature a christian party gains power in Ireland that a referendum could be held on whether women should maintain their right to vote for example.

  10. GingerlyColors 14 Nov 2012, 6:36am

    Marriage equality seems to enjoy cross party support in Ireland from Fianna Fail to Sinn Féin and with the Catholic Church in Ireland now discredited because of child abuse there should be no reason why Ireland shouldn’t introduce it.

    1. I think you under-estimate the viciousness of he ‘no to equal marriage campaign’.

      I can predict it already.

      They will make all sorts of disgusting claims about gay people and children; they will link homosexuality to paedophilia; they will stop at nothing.

      Their campaign of hatred and fearmongering could quite easily overturn the majority support for equality.

      And if that happens it will be another generation before Irish LGBT people are equal citizens.

  11. Is divorce still illegal in Ireland? If not and they insist on a referendum on equal marriage, I hope then that Moninne Griffith will be seeking a counter referendum on making divorce illegal.

    1. Divorce was passed in a referendum in 1995 by 50.1% to 49.9%. Referenda are incredibly common in Ireland. Changes to the constitution must be passed by the people. There was one involving children’s rights last Saturday.

      1. The need for referenda on people’s human and civil rights seems to be massively undemocratic.

        This requirement for a referendums means there are no inalienable rights – human or civil rights – in Ireland; if a majority decision can determine a minority’s rights.

        1. “This requirement for a referendums means there are no inalienable rights – human or civil rights – in Ireland”

          This is a stupid comment. Read the constitution before making such silly remarks.

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