Human Rights / Family

Ireland’s referendum on gay marriage will wait till 2015

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
After a slight delay, Prime Minister finally confirms that a referendum will take place. Not in 2014, but in 2015.
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, from Fine Gael Party, said on November 5 that he supports a referendum on gay marriage. It is expected to be held in 2015.
Kenny’s statement is government’s official response to the “Recommendations of Convention on the Constitution on Marriage Equality for Same-Sex Couples”. He said the government has decided to support the Constitutional Convention’s finding that gay marriage should be decided by public vote.
"In respect of today’s decision I support that very strongly and will campaign for it when it comes," Kenny said.
Kenny had repeatedly refused to be open about where he stood on the question of gay marriage and had avoided questions on the issue.
Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore, from Labour Party, also commented on the official statement: “It is important that we win this referendum. It is an important issue and we know from referenda on social issues before that it is important to do some preparation before the referendum is held.”
He also said he wants adoption and guardianship laws brought in before any referendum takes place.
“Marriage Equality”s Chairwoman Grainne Healy spoke to on what this decision means now for LGBT society and their families:
“Marriage Equality is confident that the people of Ireland overwhelmingly support the extension of civil marriage rights to lesbian and gay people. The Government announcement sets a process in motion whereby lesbian and gay couples and our families will finally be accepted as equal citizens in Irish law.”
This will also be a moment for conservative voters to use the platforms of the Irish Catholic Church. During recent debates on removing restrictions on abortion rights, the Church has been a vocal and aggressive opponent. In Ireland, abortion is still banned with the exception of women whose lives are at risk.  
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