Mattie McGrath will ‘probably’ vote No in marriage referendum

Tipperary deputy becomes first TD to publicly indicate he’s unlikely to call for a Yes

Independent TD Mattie McGrath is holding meetings with advocacy groups opposed to both the Bill and the referendum. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath is holding meetings with advocacy groups opposed to both the Bill and the referendum. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times.

 

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said he will “probably” vote No in the upcoming same-sex marriage referendum.

The Tipperary deputy becomes the first TD to publicly indicate he is unlikely to be calling for a Yes vote on May 22nd.

All the main political parties are advocating a Yes vote.

Mr McGrath told The Irish Times on Tuesday he had “serious concerns” about the Children and Family Relationships Bill and would “probably” vote No in the referendum to allow gay people to marry.

He is holding meetings with advocacy groups opposed to both the Bill and the referendum.

The Government has been at pains to say the Bill and referendum are not connected.

Voters will be asked to amend Article 41 of the Constitution and approve the thirty-fourth amendment contained in the Marriage Equality Act 2015.

The wording will of the amendment will be: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinctions to their sex.”

In 2012, Mr McGrath emerged as the only deputy to oppose the children’s rights referendum, which had the support of all parties in Leinster House.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he hoped the referendum would take place on May 22nd in an interview with RTÉ’s Prime Time last Thursday night.

He said he hoped the referendum would be passed and an image would be sent out of a “tolerant and inclusive Ireland”.