Irish PM: Same-sex marriage will pass but it will be closer than people think
The Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he thinks same-sex marriage will pass at the referendum later this month, but that it may be closer than previously anticipated.
The Republic of Ireland is set to vote on May 22 on a proposal to introduce civil same-sex marriage, and recent polls have indicated that the measure will pass with a landslide.
Mr Kenny, speaking to Ireland AM, said he thought same-sex marriage would pass at the referendum, but that “it will be closer than the original polls indicate.”
“No referendum can be passed unless people vote for it – they’re not going to vote unless they feel motivated and interested to do so,” he continued.
He said he commended 40,000 new voters who had registered to vote in the referendum, and that “of course you will have confusion in some people’s minds”, but the way forward was to “explain the importance of this and what it actually means.”
Saying he thought the question boiled down to the friends and families of gay people in their extended family deciding whether to “give the right” to get married.
Of his own “journey” to acceptance of same-sex marriage, Mr Kenny said: “It goes back a very long way – we’ve had the decriminalisation of homosexuality back in the 80s, we’ve had the non-discrimination of people in the workplace irrespective of their sexual orientation. My own party was the first party to introduce a civil partnership Bill, and that followed through to the Child and Family Relationships Bill, to a point where we had civil partnerships.
“And now a step towards asking people for their approval for civil marriage to be extended to people to whom it is prohibited at the moment. I think to be honest it’s the stories of the ordinary people that have brought me on this journey, to a point when I’m absolutely happy in my own mind and my own conscience that the question that’s being asked here is a first in world terms. While other countries have introduced equality in marriage and civil marriage for gay couples – this is a first when the people are being asked to vote in a referendum, to add to the Constitution where the institution of marriage can be strengthened.”
The video is available to watch below