Yes campaign welcomes legal clarity of Referendum Commission and Adoption Authority

12 May 2015

Yes Equality: The Campaign for Civil Marriage Equality has today welcomed the legal clarity provided by both the Referendum Commission and the Adoption Authority on the legal consequences of a yes vote in the 22 May Marriage Equality referendum.

Adoption Authority Chief Geoffrey Shannon has clarified the process of adoption in the context of the Marriage Equality referendum. He stated categorically that:

• “whether you vote yes or no on the 22nd of May, the adoption process is not going to change”
• “The best interests of the child is the key requirement in determining whether someone gets the licence to adopt”
• The adoption assessment process “is not concerned with gender or sexual orientation”.

Further clarity was provided this morning by Mr. Justice Kevin Cross, Chair of the independent Referendum Commission when he said:

• On Civil Partnership: “Married couples have constitutional and legal protection, whereas civil partners only have legal protection. Legal protection is something that can be changed, amended, whittled down by act of the Oireachtas. Constitutional protection can only be removed by vote of the people in a referendum”.

• On surrogacy the Judge said: “there is no right of access to surrogacy, there is spoken of a right of a married couple to procreate but that does not and has never been defined to include a right of access to artificial means such as surrogacy”.

Speaking today, Yes Equality Spokesperson Grainne Healy said:

“The No side has consistently sought to muddy the waters by raising unfounded fears surrounding adoption, surrogacy and family life. The recent statements by independent Adoption Authority Chair Geoffrey Shannon and independent Referendum Commission Chair Kevin Cross cut a swathe through the No side’s misdirection, and provide a welcome clarity to the debate.”

“A Yes vote in this referendum will grant same-sex couples and their children full constitutional recognition and equality. No more and no less. A Yes vote is a vote for equality and a vote for family.”

“A yes vote is a vote for a more inclusive and fairer Ireland”.