Same sex marriage legislation delayed until the autumn

Legal challenge to same sex marriage referendum to be held on July 30th

Legislation to provide for same sex marriage is to be delayed until after the summer recess.

A legal challenge has been taken against the outcome of the referendum on May 22nd.

The Court of Appeal today fixed the date of July 30th to hear the case meaning the legislation will be not be heard before the Dáil breaks.

Two men sought leave to appeal the result of May 22nd in the High Court but it was dismissed.


Gerry Walshe is challenging that decision in the Court of Appeal, and its decision could potentially be appealed by the Supreme Court.

The delay could mean the first same-sex marriages will not be able to take place until 2016.

One Government Minister said: “This is so disappointing. This could potentially drag out until after the general election. It’s devastating.”

The Government had hoped to pass same-sex legislation by the summer recess.

This would have allowed the first same-sex marriage to take place by Christmas, as a three-month notification period is required for marriage.

The Dáil is due to rise on July 18th, and the appeals against the referendum’s outcome mean the proposed legislation will not be considered until mid-September at the earliest.

“We are most concerned that these appeals are frustrating the overwhelming will of the people as expressed in the referendum. We do not want to see justice delayed for those lesbian and gay couples waiting to marry” Kieran Rose, GLEN chair, said.

“The 1.2 million people who voted yes will be disappointed that the implementation of their decision continues to be delayed.”