A referendum on marriage
Sir, – I’m somewhat confused by the constant referencing to a constitutional amendment to enable marriage equality.
The specific constitutional reference to marriage, Article 41.3.1 reads: “The State pledges itself to guard with special care the institution of Marriage, on which the Family is founded, and to protect it against attack.” In Section 2 and subsequent sections of that paragraph, it describes the situations under which marriage may be dissolved and how divorcees from another jurisdiction that allows marriage dissolution can remarry in Ireland.
Nowhere in the Constitution does it specify that marriage is comprised of a union between and man and a woman. Nowhere does it make reference to a “father” and or “mother” which might imply marriage to be between a man and a woman (even though that naming convention would more accurately be used to describe the parentage of a child as opposed to who their parents are married to).
Can someone in Government, or someone with a legal background, explain why a constitutional referendum is required? Perhaps there is precedent that states or implies such an arrangement, but it would be good to know.
And further to the Taoiseach refusing to be drawn on his position on marriage equality, it really doesn’t matter what he thinks personally.
I’d like to think Enda Kenny cares about the welfare of all the citizens of this State and his personal misgivings should not form part of his policy decisions. A recent poll suggests that 73 per cent of the electorate would support marriage equality if asked to do so in a ballot. The personal views of any citizen is a matter for his or her own conscience, but you don’t get to treat me as a second class citizen when my rights are protected under Article 40. 1 of the Constitution, which expressly states: “All citizens shall, as human persons, be held equal before the law.” – Yours, etc,