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Religious Tolerance logo

Same-sex marriages (SSM), civil unions, etc.

Outline map of Ireland 1

Part 3:
From late 2013 until now. Ireland:
Negative reactions to the referendum
in 2015. All parties support SSM.

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Two cake decaration brides 2013-NOV: Negative reactions toward the same-sex marriage referendum:

thumb down imageThere are always negative voices who are very reluctant to see the end of the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage:

  • Denis Nulty, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin, said:

    "The Catholic Church will continue to hold that the differences between a man and woman are not accidental to marriage but fundamental to it and that children have a natural right to a mother and a father and that this is the best environment for them where possible."

  • Dr John Murray of the Iona Institute expressed concern that almost all of the Irish political parties now support allowing same-sex couples to marry. He considers this a radical, negative change involving the most important child-centred social institution in the country -- marriage. 2

Actually, as of late 2013, all of the political parties in Ireland support marriage equality.

The Iona Institute is a conservative Catholic lobby group in Ireland. They commented about SSM in one of their You Tube videos:

"There is intense pressure in Ireland and other countries to redefine marriage. A new video from The Iona Institute sets out the case for man/woman marriage and how marriage as presently defined is our most vital and child-centred social institution.

We believe our video is one of the shortest (less than two minutes long!), most succinct and user-friendly on this matter anywhere. We urge you to watch it, to email it to your friends and to post it on your Facebook page and elsewhere.

(It's best watched in full-screen mode)."


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2013-NOV: All political parties in the Dail Eireann support SSM:

The Dail Eireann is the lower house of the parliament of the Irish Republic. On or before 2013-NOV, all six of its parties indicated support for marriage equality. In alphabetical order:

  • Fianna Fáil: The Republican Party: During 2013-MAR, delegates to the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis -- a meeting of the party -- voted in favor of allowing persons of all races, religions, genders and sexual orientations to freely marry. They also approved of full adoption rights for same-sex couples. 4

  • Fine Gael: During 2013-NOV, this party was the lead party in the coalition government. The party announced that they will call for a "Yes" vote for marriage equality in the upcoming referendum. 5

  • The Green Party: Back in 2011-FEB, the first same-sex couple entered into a civil partnership. The Green Party played a major role in passing legislation to legalize civil partnerships, but were looking ahead to the day when loving, committed same-sex couples could marry. The Irish Examiner wrote:

    "The Green Party and Labour have both pledged to introduce full gay marriage rights. Green Party TD Ciarán Cuffe said same-sex couples should be entitled to the same rights as heterosexual couples.

  • 'In Government, the Green Party introduced the Civil Partnerships legislation, which goes a long way to ensuring better rights for same-sex couples. But, it is not marriage, and we believe all consenting adults, should have the option to marry,' he added." 6

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  • The Labour Party: Party leader Eamon Gilmore delivered a speech to a party symposium way back on 2009-MAY-07 saying, in part:

    "For The Labour Party, the question of marriage for lesbian and gay people in Ireland is a question of equal citizenship. It is as simple as that.

    The Labour Party has a long and proud history of fighting, and winning, the battle for equality between our citizens. It was Labour which introduced equal pay for men and women. Labour had the courage to stand up for individual freedoms, and to take the State out of citizens' bedrooms. It was Labour which legalised divorce in 1997. And it was Labour which made it legal to buy a packet of condoms.

    We have been at the forefront, too, in major developments in the gay rights agenda. ..."

    "Looking around us today, it is hard to imagine that the rights and freedoms Labour fought so hard for, and which we all now take for granted, were resisted every step of the way. The divorce referendum, only 14 years ago, was passed by a mere 9,000 votes out of the 1.6 million cast.

    Two lessons can be drawn from these, often bruising, struggles. The first is that if we are committed to the equality and freedom of our neighbour, we will succeed. The second is that it won't be easy.

    This is as true for same-sex marriage as it was for those other milestones on the journey towards a fair and equal society. ..." 7

  • Sinn Féin: Way back in 2004, MLA Caitríona Ruane, the Sinn Féin Human Rights and Equality Spokesperson:

    "... welcomed legislation to recognise the rights of same sex marriages within civil law. Ms Ruane said:

    'The recognition before the law of the rights of same sex unions is long overdue.

    This is vitally important in recognising that all people should have equal rights before the law regardless of sexual orientation, race, religion.

    This will send out an important message about the rights of homosexual people." 8

  • The Socialist Party: Their web site states that the party:

    "supports and wherever possible, assists, the building of struggle and movements of the working class and all oppressed people across the globe to oppose austerity, to rage against the rule of the 1%, to fight for democratic and other crucial rights, such as abortion and gay marriage rights." 9

How different Ireland is from the situation in the U.S. where the Democratic and Republican parties are apparently incapable of conversations, debate and dialogue on most matters to the point where all activity in Congress is deadlocked.

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The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Outline map of Ireland was supplied by See: Used by permission.
  2. "Govt will 'actively support' same-sex marriage referendum in 2015." RTE News, 2013-NOV-06, at:
  3. "The case for man/woman marriage," The Iona Institute, at:
  4. "FF delegates back equal marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples," Irish Examiner, 2012-MAR-03, at:
  5. "Government to call for Yes vote for gay marriage," News, 2013-NOV-05, at:
  6. First civil partnership ceremony for same-sex couple," Irish Examiner, 2011-FEB-21, at:
  7. "Labour's goal is full equality for gay citizens, Gilmore tells symposium," Labour Party, 200--MAY-07, at:
  8. "Recognition of same sex marriage long overdue," Sinn Féin, 2004-MAR-31, at:
  9. "About us," The Socialist Party, undated, at:

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Site navigation: Home page > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > SSM Menu > Ireland > here

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Copyright © 2004 to 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2004
Latest update: 2014-DEC-17
Author: B.A. Robinson

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