Ireland’s broadcasters cease discussion of same-sex marriage ahead of referendum
A moratorium preventing the discussion of same-sex marriage by broadcasters in Ireland has come into force, ahead of the country’s referendum tomorrow.
The Republic of Ireland is set to vote on Friday (May 22) on a proposal to introduce civil same-sex marriage.
As the country – which has recently passed separate legislation to introduce same-sex adoption – goes to the polls, all discussion of LGBT rights has been temporarily banned.
The moratorium, which came into force at 2pm today, prevents all discussion of the merits of same-sex marriage on TV and radio.
Some took the deadline more seriously than others – with Newstalk playing gay anthem ‘Everybody Dance Now’ as 2pm passed.
Guidance from the Broadcast Authority of Ireland states: “Radio and television broadcasters shall observe a moratorium on coverage of the referenda.
“The moratorium shall operate from 2pm on the day before the poll takes place and throughout the day of the poll itself until polling stations close.
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“During the period, broadcasters shall ensure compliance with the following:-
“Material which relates directly to the referenda issues and related constitutional amendment(s) shall not be broadcast while the moratorium is in operation.
“This includes material pertaining to the merits or otherwise of the referenda issues and/or constitutional amendments proposed.
“The moratorium applies to all on-air personnel, including, but not limited to, presenters and representatives of referenda interests and groups, including political parties.
“In applying the moratorium, broadcasters will need to strike a balance between requirements to keep the public informed over this period and ensuring that programming does not contravene the moratorium as set out above.”
The moratorium marks the end of the formal campaign ahead of the referendum.