The referendum in Ireland was unnecessary?!

I’m glad for the Irish and I can’t quite stomach the idea that a country full of heterosexual people voted on our having human rights. Especially since there were apparently two other ways in the legal system to gain marriage equality.

Irish constitutional scholars (at Marriage Equality):

“What does the Irish Constitution say about marriage?
The Irish Constitution does not define marriage as being between a man and a woman, and so Marriage Equality believe that the Constitution’s definition of “the family” could include same-sex relationships.

The Courts and Marriage: The legal system (ie: our courts) simply interprets the constitutional definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. The Constitution is considered to be a living document, open to interpretation by the judges in the Supreme Court, to reflect the changing values of Irish society. It is, therefore, open to change.

Legislation and Marriage: Legislation was introduced in 2004 (The Civil Registration Act) that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman.
This legislation could be amended at any time to define marriage in gender neutral terms.”

I checked the Irish constitution and the above seems to be correct:


5 thoughts on “The referendum in Ireland was unnecessary?!

  1. Apparently some thought it was absolutely necessary to do, otherwise why spend all the money etc. campaigning about it?

    If not a necessity legally, perhaps morally, culturally, an important public stand in favor of equality for all sexual orientations under their Constitution. Perhaps also a public repudiation of the Catholic Church’s stands on the subject.

    • Let me guess. You are straight?

      Human Rights are not up for a vote. None of them.

      If they wanted to make a public stand, well, make one: how about the 100.000 heterosexual people for LGBTI rights march. Fill the streets of Dublin and the hills of Dingle. Make it a public holiday.

      A really great stand against the church: join your local church committee and advocate for acceptance of LGBTI persons. Never let up. GO every week.

      Just because some people thought a referendum was a good idea, doesn’t mean it was a good idea or worth all that money.

      Ireland has lots of bad traditions, referenda are one of them. That’s why women still have a very limited right to have an abortion and women die because of it. Google for examples.
      Google how long it took to get divorce on the law books.

      • I do consider the right to marry a human right, and I was very heartened to see this voting result. There are differences in Irish law I don’t understand, that (according to RTE news) make it necessary to hold referendums for changes in the Constitution, and the courts defer to that. But I’m in the USA, where we have to fight this thing out state by state over years. I would love it if our government had enough trust in us as a people to put it to a national vote, but our mix of state vs federal rights conflicting make it extremely unlikely.

      • Sorry, but I don’t think you understand what human rights are if you wish to vote on my human rights as a sign of the government’s trust in YOU.

        You do not get to vote about my human rights. Period.

        Google the site Marriage Equality and find out what Irish constitutional scholars have to say (or re-read my initial post). A referendum was NOT legally necessary.

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