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Irish Government confirms 2015 equal marriage referendum

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  1. This is horrifying news.

    So there’s no guarantee of victory and no Plan B is this referendum fails.

    And they are giving the US churches 18 month time frame in which to slander our community.

    Shame on Ireland.

    Even though the Irish Constitution declares civil rights dependent on mob rule this is being handled in ban appalling manner.

    There’s no guarantee that this will succeed.

    1. What are you shaming Ireland for? That’s how referendums work Steve. Its the whole point of a democracy is it not? Let the people decide. Obviously I want it to pass but there’s nothing shameful about democracy.

      1. I know how referenda work.

        But the whole point of a democracy is to make sure that everyone has access to equal human and civil rights.

        Since when has it been acceptable to allow a majority decide what rights a law-abiding tax-paying minority group enjoy?

        If this referendum fails (and it is by no means guaranteed of success) then Ireland is declaring its LGBT population to be 2nd class citizens with no recourse to justice.

        There is no plan B remember.

        Legislation is suffcient. Yes the legislation may be challenged in the courts but I doubt very much that the courts will nullify hundreds or thousands of marriages which have already taken place.

        If they do – that that is when a referendum needs to take place.

        1. SteveC, come up with a new and relevant comment please. Every Ireland related article is the same comment from you. What should Plan B consist of? You may be planning for failure but those of us lobbying and doing the work on the ground are planning for a successful referendum.

      2. Ireland’s shame will be if the polls are inaccurate in judging the outcome of this referendum. Early polls are not always a barometer of success/or final outcome as can be seen by the polls before the divorce referenda in Ireland.

  2. EqualityNOW 5 Nov 2013, 3:41pm

    So let me get this straight (no pun intended): The Irish government, after much deliberation, have finally agreed to put human rights up to a public vote. Shame on you, you useless, backward, illiberal ministers. This is 2013! Don’t you get it by now? You’re supposed to be leading a supposedly ‘progressive’ nation because you’re intelligent people. This is no different to when racists in 1970s America argued that interracial marriage should be put up to a popular vote. This is getting so very tiresome. Sort. It. OUT!

  3. Robert in S. Kensington 5 Nov 2013, 3:54pm

    Way too long and not good enough. All this will do will enable the religious nutters to mobilise a campaign of mendacious information and foment homophobia. This is a disaster waiting to happen. Gilmore needs to get this done sooner as well as indicated what happens if the referendum were to fail.

  4. EqualityNOW 5 Nov 2013, 3:58pm

    So let me get this straight (no pun intended). The Irish government, after much deliberation, has finally decided to put human rights up to a popular vote. You useless, backward, illiberal ministers. This is 2013! Don’t you get it by now? This is no different to racists in 1970s America putting the right of interracial couples to marry up to a popular vote. This is utterly shameful in a supposedly ‘progressive’ nation. Sort. It. OUT!!!

  5. @Stevec Unfortunately the Irish constitution says marriage is between a man and a woman, to change this a referendum is required, any changes to the constitution must by law be put to the people so if the people vote no then there can’t be a plan b on the matter or equal marriage, there would have to be something different, perhaps changing the civil partnership bill, however I do believe this referendum will pass easily, it’s good news, a bit disappointing that we have to wait so long for it to happen but this is the nature of politics, I’m sure the government in 2015 will be looking for re-election so they will need to have some good news stories behind them

    1. In other words the Irish constitution is a document which makes civil rights dependent on mob rule.

      that is just as horrifying.

      And even if the mob decides wr deserve equality you can bet that Ireland’s shameful decision to hold a vote on this will be used in places likke Poland to ensure that LGBT people in other countries have civil rights dependent on mob rule.

      There’s no good angle for this news.

    2. Jonny, the Irish constitution does not say marriage is between a man and a woman.

      It says the government must “guard with special care the institution of Marriage, on which the Family is founded” and it says that the state “recognises the Family as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of Society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law”.

      The courts have inferred that the only “family” referred to is different-sex marriage, and that guarding marriage means excluding same-sex couples, but both issues are open to interpretation.

  6. Ian Bower 5 Nov 2013, 4:14pm

    I think it’s abhorrent.
    No one should have to ask the population if they can get married.

  7. People really need to focus their energy on making marriage equality a reality in rather than second guessing the constitutional requirements in Ireland. Unlike the UK, we have a written constitution that has been interpreted as defining marriage as an institution between opposite sex couples – though there is disagreement on this it is a fact that the Irish government (and most lawyers) believe that the only way to guarantee that Equal Marriage legislation is constitutional is to change the Article on marriage and the family in the Constitution.

    People may not like our constitutional situation but we are where we are – it’s time for people to get behind the campaign for a Yes vote. Or would people prefer to deny Irish people marriage equality rights by objecting to the only current method for achieving these rights?

    1. Options other than a referendum have not been considered. Not all legal experts believe a referendum is necessary.

      If same sex marriage is introduced through legislation (like in Britain) then yes of course the bigots will challenge it in court.

      But if there are already hundreds of legally married same sex couples by the time of the court challenge, plus the fact that about 10 other European countries have equal marriage, then I doubt the courts will over-rule it.

      Why has this avenue not been explored properly?

      1. Yes there is disagreement on the issue – but on the one occasion when an Irish court has ruled on the matter, the High Court judge found that “although a ‘living document’, the Irish constitution had always meant for marriage to be between a man and a woman”. You can rightly express your anger about the need to ask people for marriage equality but I think it would better serve the cause to campaign for a Yes vote – or at least wish those of us who will be campaigning well. There is no prospect of any Irish government introducing marriage equality legislation without constitutional certainty.

  8. Keith moral educator 5 Nov 2013, 4:36pm

    So now the commoner Irish people can and will spoke, not only small elitist group of LGBT-lobbyists. Very symbolic indeed, ahead of the 100th anniversary of the end of the English occupation.

    1. For someone with the word “educator” in his posting name, you’re clearly not very well educated yourself. The English brought hatred against homosexuals into Ireland with them. Early Irish society had no issue with homosexuality, and even the early Irish Church only went so far as to express a mild disapproval – which the Irish mostly ignored. The Church focused on the New Testament, and all of the homophobic crap is in the Old Testament, so it had very little impact.
      It was only when the English came in that homophobia took hold in this country, so it would be far more “symbolic” if we celebrated the anniversary by voting FOR equal marriage, not against it.
      But what would an Irish woman with a history degree know about Irish History, eh?

  9. Keith moral educator 5 Nov 2013, 4:37pm

    So now the commoner Irish people can and will spoke, not only small elitist group of lobbyists. Very symbolic indeed, ahead of the 100th anniversary of the end of the English occupation.

    1. Calling the majority of Irish people ‘commoners’ and LGBT activists elitists isn’t degrading at all! *rolls eyes*

  10. Georg Friedrich 5 Nov 2013, 5:03pm

    Very important context: on December 1 Croatia will vote on constitutional ban on gay marriage, after one group, supported by Catholic Church, has collect some 700.000 signatures for this initiative – and so Switzerland next year too, as people will vote on new law, who give tax breaks for married couples and civil partners (Switzerland have civil partnership law since 2005), but is including also new constitutional definition of marriage as “union between man and women”, proposed by Christian Democrat party, after Swiss government has already given his support for this last week. Windy times for gay rights in Europe.

  11. Why do people keep making awful comments about the constitution of my country and our government please start backing the yes campaign and stop waging a borderline racist vendetta against the democratic values of my country !!!!

    1. Ireland is my country too (well sort of – both my parents are from Ireland).

      And the Irish constitution is a deeply flawed document. It was written in 1937 when Ireland was under the iron fist of the catholic church which made sure to smear it with it catholic doctrine.

      The very fact that in 2013 people are being asked to engage in a public vote on the civil rights of a minority is not a democratic value. I would say the opposite.

      I will apply for an Irish passport I think to vote in this election. I will vote yes for sure, but will be holding my nose while doing so.

      1. An Irish passport does not mean you can vote in the referendum. Once again an ill-informed post Steve.

  12. Ireland has had divorce since 1996 (there was a referendum in 1986 to introduce it which was defeated). About 6 months before the vote on divorce in 1996 there was an even higher majority of people in favour of introducing divorce, than there currently is for same-sex marriage. In the end divorce was passed by 50.1% in favour and 49.9% against – it won by a hare’s breath.

    Why was the result so close. Well in the months prior to the vote Irish single-isse rightwing groups (funded largely by US churches) started a fear campaign – one horrible example was an ad campaign targeting men telling them that if divorce was introduced and their marriage broke down then they would never see their children again. It was all lies, but the drip, drip, drip of lies and innuendo and slander almost succeeded.
    [continued below]

    1. With 18 months till a vote the Irish single-issue, rightwing groups (funded largely by US churches) like SPUC, Youth Defence. Coir, and the Iona Institute will have ample time to demonise, slander, incite hatred against and demonise the gay community. And they will. Their lies will focus on linking gay people to paedophilia.

      The run-up to this referendum (the next 18 months) is going to be hideous.

      And it is all so unnecessary. I hope the Irish government pledges to invest money in the likely increase in homophobic hate crime that a possible outcome of the campaign of slander by the rightwing groups.

      What does GLEN (Ireland’s Stonewall) have to say about all of this?

    2. Slovenia also had a referendum on equal marriage , where polls indicated it would pass, but alas in the end the hate mob won. Already the evil, irish catholic church said it would fight the gays over this, and they will fight a vicious campaign and are already preparing to cause as many fatalities as possible.

  13. Colin (london) 5 Nov 2013, 7:37pm

    Although a way forward it is to me full of deceit and I smell religion here.

    So to the Irish Government minority human rights needs a referendum and needs 2 years to prepare.

    Oh yes who sold out but wants to be seen as progressive….sad indeed.

    Just get it done quickly and show your people that Ireland is understanding and progressive. Go on change the headlines.

  14. Colin (London) 5 Nov 2013, 7:40pm

    We really must get all religion off this planet….There is nothing good about it or it’s propagators / exponents.

  15. Here we go again – the majority voting on our civil rights!!!

    What an absolute disgrace!!!!!!

    Do I get to vote on your marriage????….

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