Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ireland to hold referendum on same sex 'marriage' in May

The Irish government has announced that it will proceed with a referendum on same sex 'marriage', which will be called the Marriage Equality Bill
Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed in Dail Eireann that the Cabinet had given approval for the referendum to take place along with a second referendum on lowering age for presidential candidates.
"The Cabinet gave approval to hold the referenda, and both referenda will happen on the one day in the month of May 2015. The Government did not fix a final date," he said. 
Mr Kenny added that Frances Fitzgerald, the justice minister, will come back to the Dail when she has finalised her proposals in relation to the Marriage Equality Bill.

Kenny also said the Government would move to create a Referendum Commission to oversee the holding of the two referendums.

Tanaiste Joan Burton leader of the Labour Party said the decision was a "very positive and progressive development".

Speaking at the launch of a campaign in support of marriage and the family earlier this month  Bishop Liam Mac Daid and Bishop Kevin Doran, set out the teaching of the Church on the issue. 

Allowing same-sex marriage would be a “grave injustice” and a disservice to society, according to members of a representative body for Catholic bishops in Ireland.
The Catholic Bishops of Ireland in anticipation of the Government move recently published a leaflet entitled "The Meaning of Marriage".
The statement and information on it can be found on this link

“The view of marriage as being between man and a woman and for life, that’s not something which is particular to Catholics and Christians. There are people of all kinds of other religious beliefs, and of none, who believe in that,” said Bishop Liam MacDaid of Clogher, who is chair of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference council for marriage.

 “To put any other view of marriage on the same level as Christian marriage would be a disservice to society rather than a service,” added Bishop MacDaid, who was flanked by fellow bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin following a two-day winter conference in St Patrick’s College.

“While there’s sort of an assumption that this referendum [passing] is a no-brainer, in some societies the legislature has legislated for same-sex marriage, but in other societies- almost everywhere there has been a same-sex referendum- it has been rejected… Our hope would be that the referendum would be defeated,” said Bishop Doran, who courted publicity last week for his concessionary stance on inheritance rights for same-sex couples.