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Irish Prime Minister warned ‘referendum fatigue’ could threaten result of equal marriage vote

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  1. Human and civil rights should NEVER be put to a vote.
    It is beyond appalling that Ireland’s constitution requires this.

    If the referendum fails then there is no plan B.

    Ireland will be declaring the 2nd class citizenship of the LGBT community before the entire world.

    1. Ronan O'Riordan 4 Nov 2013, 5:42pm

      Hi Steve,

      It is the case that changes to the constitution require the publics consent. The constitution does not explicitly define marriage as between a man and a woman but there is legal precedent in the interpretaion. As such the government wants to put any move towards marriage equality (ie just by legislation) beyond challenge in the Supreme court (which conservative groups such as Iona would do). Copper fastening it by referendum is the only way to ensure it cannot be challenged in the Supreme Court.

    2. Steve, you’re right that we shouldn’t be in the position where it’s going to be put to a vote but Ronan is correct – a legal precedent has screwed us. It’s an interpretation of the constitution – not the actual wording of the constitution itself – that has put us here. If they just pass legislation, any bigot who appeals to the Supreme Court can cite this precedent.
      Unfortunately, the referendum IS plan B. And if it fails, it will be more difficult to make any progress, because they’ll just hold up their hands and say, “Sorry, folks. The people have spoken.” And there will be little we can do except continue to march and campaign until enough time has passed to have another referendum.
      It sucks.

  2. allwaysniceman 4 Nov 2013, 5:55pm

    I think, the referendum is an excellent idea to show what an true Western democracy is or should be: an by elections legitimated rule of an majority over minority.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 4 Nov 2013, 6:05pm

      In an ideal world, yes, but then there is a very real possibility of the slippery slope argument which could enable the tyranny of the majority over the minority in many ways. What if referenda were employed to end interracial marriages, ban divorce, ban abortion, ban immigration, ban divorced people from every marrying again, the list is endless. If a referendum had occurred in the U.S. to oppose integration and civil rights for black people, they would today be second class citizens and discrimination given carte blanche to disenfranchise them. No thanks.

      1. allwaysniceman 4 Nov 2013, 7:36pm

        I agree, but my intention was just to say that Catholic Church in Ireland has became in the past two decades also an “religious minority” (low numbers of regular churchgoers), and have no right to impose Catholic views on family or sexuality over the majority of secular citizens, no difference, if they are straight or gay.

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