Same-sex marriage poll needed, says Constitution body

Government has committed to responding to the various recommendations of the convention within four months

The report shows a majority of 79 per cent of convention members favoured amending the Constitution to provide for same-sex marriage, while some 78 per cent favoured directive or mandatory wording in the event of such an amendment going ahead. Photograph: Jean-Marc Loos/Reuters

The report shows a majority of 79 per cent of convention members favoured amending the Constitution to provide for same-sex marriage, while some 78 per cent favoured directive or mandatory wording in the event of such an amendment going ahead. Photograph: Jean-Marc Loos/Reuters

Wed, Jul 3, 2013, 01:00


A referendum to provide for same-sex marriage should be held, the report of the convention on the Constitution has recommended.

The Government has committed to responding to the various recommendations of the convention within four months, during which time there will be a debate in the Oireachtas on the matter.

In the event that the Government accepts a recommendation that the Constitution be amended, it will include a time frame for the holding of the referendum.

The report shows a majority of 79 per cent of convention members favoured amending the Constitution to provide for same-sex marriage, while some 78 per cent favoured directive or mandatory wording in the event of such an amendment going ahead.

In the event of such a referendum being carried, the State would be obliged to enact laws providing for same-sex marriage.


Parentage issues
The report also outlines how 81 per cent of convention members recommended that, in the event of the referendum being carried, legislation should be introduced to address “the parentage, guardianship and upbringing of children” in families headed by same-sex married parents.


Record submissions
The meeting on same-sex marriage attracted a record number of submissions from the public. More than 1,000 submissions lodged by citizens, advocacy groups and representative organisations were considered by the convention as part of the debate.

Convention members heard presentations from legal and academic experts, engaged in round-table discussions, participated in question-and-answer sessions, and listened to advocacy group presentations.

Chairman of the convention Tom Arnold said the report was “the culmination of a rigorous process which was marked by a high level of public engagement, thoughtful and respectful contributions, and a thorough examination of the issues”.