Govt Announce Wording Of Marriage Equality Referendum

Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Justice and Equality, has published the wording agreed by the government for the constitutional amendment on Marriage Equality.

The Thirty-Fourth Amendment of the Constitution on Marriage Equality proposes to add a new section to Constitution: 'Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex'.

Minister Fitzgerald said: "People will be asked to decide whether the following new wording should be added to the Constitution: ‘Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex'."

Minister Fitzgerald also confirmed that the government is separately preparing an Implementation Bill which will address the changes to legislation that will be needed if the referendum is carried.

This will include changes to the Civil Registration Acts to remove the impediments preventing same-sex couples from being able to marry. The Minister will bring the General Scheme of the Implementation Bill to Government in February.

The Minister added: "The issue is one of equality, Marriage Equality. It is about removing the barriers which deny some couples the chance of marrying and of having relationships that are constitutionally protected."

"The question is whether or not a new category of couples can have an equal right to marrying and to enjoying the protection of marriage afforded by the Constitution.

"Ultimately it is for the people of Ireland to decide. I hope we can have a constructive and respectful debate which will help to inform and engage citizens on this important issue. I would encourage everyone entitled to vote in these referendums to participate fully in our democracy by ensuring that they are registered to vote and to go to the polls in May."

The referendum is to be held in May.


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