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Constitutional Convention endorses marriage equality

The Constitutional Convention met on April 13-14 to consider the issue of same sex marriage. The Convention voted by a decisive majority in favour of changing the Constitution to allow for civil marriage for same sex couples. The Convention’s strong endorsement of equal marriage rights in Ireland marks an historic step in the campaign for marriage equality in Ireland.

The Constitutional Convention is a year-long process which brings together members of the public (66) and the Oireachtas (33) to examine 8 key issues which may or may not need Constitutional reform.  You can learn more about the Constitutional Convention here.

Following a weekend of presentations and discussions involving supporters and opponents of equal marriage, the constitutional reform body voted overwhelmingly in favour of recommending that the Government take steps to provide for equal recognition of marriage for same-sex couples:

  • 79% voted to change the Constitution to provide for civil marriage for same-sex couples
  • 78% favoured directive or mandatory wording in the event of such an amendment going ahead, meaning that the State should be obliged to enact laws providing for same sex marriage
  • 81% voted for the State “to enact laws incorporating necessary changed arrangements in regard to the parentage, guardianship and upbringing of children” in lesbian and gay headed families.

The weekend's deliberations followed an unprecedented 1,000 plus submissions to the Convention from members of the public, more than three quarters of which favoured marriage equality.

You can read Marriage Equality’s submission here, and watch the presentation by Marriage Equality, GLEN, and the ICCL here.

The Convention submitted its formal report on the issue to Government on July 2nd 2013. The report's message is clear and unequivocal: an overwhelming majority of the delegates to the Convention were convinced that the time is ripe to change the Constitution in order to end the exclusion of same sex couples from full civil marriage.

What next?

The countdown to marriage equality in Ireland has begun. The Government has committed to responding to the recommendations of the Constitutional Convention within four months of the publication of its reports, in this case by November 1st, and will arrange a full debate in the Houses of the Oireachtas on the issue. If the Government accepts the recommendation that the Constitution be amended, it will include a timeframe for holding a referendum.

The next 4 months are a crucial time to keep the pressure on for the campaign for marriage equality.  We know we can deliver this with your support. 

Take action and contact your TD here-urge them to set a date for referendum on the issue, and make it clear that the majority of Irish people are ready for full marriage equality in Ireland.

We need YOUR financial help to ensure that we can keep doing this important work.  Join our Club 500 donor scheme here or make a donation here

Find out how you can further contribute to getting marriage equality across the line in Ireland in 2014 here.