Marriage Equality calls on new Government to recognise civil marriage rights for same sex couples following this weekend's Red C Poll

7 Mar 2011

7th March 2011

Marriage Equality today welcomed the new Government's commitment to establish a Constitutional Convention to consider the provision of marriage equality for same sex couples (amongst other issues), following the publication of the Programme for Government yesterday. However, despite the publication of Sunday's Red C Poll in the Sunday Times, which found that 73% of the Irish public are in favour of marriage equality, the newly agreed Programme for Government failed to provide an explicit commitment to legislate for same-sex marriage. Marriage Equality's Moninne Griffith stated that the campaign group would fully engage with the Constitutional Convention which will report within 12 months on the legislative and/or constitutional options to provide for same-sex marriage.

Ms. Griffith, Director of Marriage Equality, said "While we welcome the new Government's commitment in relation to establishing a Constitutional Convention, we are disappointed that the Programme for Government has failed to give an explicit commitment to legislate for civil marriage rights for same sex couples. We do acknowledge that the Programme for Government is a compromise and we fully acknowledge the role that many political figures played in advocating strongly for equality. We look forward to fully engaging with the constitutional convention to examine avenues for the provision of marriage equality for same sex couples in Ireland."

Speaking about the results of the Red C / Sunday Times poll, Ms Griffith added, "This poll is a vitally important piece of research, which shows clearly that public support for marriage equality has continued to grow. In September 2010 an Irish Times / Behaviour Attitudes poll showed public support at 67%, and today that has grown to almost ¾ of Irish people who believe that same sex couples and our families deserve equality."

Ms Griffith went on to urge the new Government and the members of the Constitutional Convention to take public opinion into account when considering the issue of equality for same sex couples.

"It has long been our view, a view supported by many legal experts, that granting Irish citizens equality regarding marriage will not require a referendum and can be expedited through legislation. We will be putting these arguments before the Constitutional Convention and looking forward to engaging in debate with the members of the Convention, and other stakeholders, as to how best introduced marriage equality as speedily as possible. With 73% of the population in favour of marriage rights for same sex couples, the Irish people are clearly ready for marriage equality."


For more information, please contact

Moninne Griffith
Director - Marriage Equality
01 873 4183