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Religious Tolerance logo

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

Outline map of Ireland 1

Part 4:
In Ireland, during early 2014:
Fine Gael party confirms supports SSM.
Two times/IPSOS polls on the referendum.

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This topic is continued from the previous page

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two brides about to marry 2014-MAR-01: The Fine Gael political party confirmed its support of marriage equality:

At the Fine Gael Ard Fheis -- a meeting of the Fine Gael political party -- delegates voted in favor of the party actively campaigning in favor of same-sex marriage during the upcoming 2015 plebiscite.

Fine Gael translates into English as "Irish Race" or "Gaelic Nation." They describes themselves as "a party of the progressive centre" although they are often referred to as a centre-right party. It is the largest political party in Ireland and is currently the lead partner in the coalition Government, along with the Labour Party.

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An article in "The Journal" said:

"... party delegates have determined that Fine Gael should support the passing of the same-sex marriage referendum next year, with Cork South-Central TD Jerry Buttimer, the party's only openly gay parliamentarian, saying the motion was about equality.

'The only place where I am unequal is in my Constitution,' he said. Shatter praised Buttimer for his 'eloquence', 'courage' and 'leadership' to applause from delegates." 2

Jerry Buttimer continued:

"As a gay man and a member of Fine Gael it makes me tremendously proud to see party delegates not only choose to endorse this motion in support of marriage equality, but to endorse it overwhelmingly." 3

Alan Shatter is a Fine Gael politician and both the Minister for Justice and Equality and Minister for Defence. He said that the plebiscite would involve two important principles

  • "Firstly, we should cherish and celebrate difference.

  • Secondly we should recognise the crucial value of treating people equally."

The readers of The Journal's article posted 118 comments. Only 15 dealt with same-sex marriage. The need for marriage equality appears to be a settled matter among the readers of that media outlet and perhaps also of the people of Ireland.

Michael O'Kane, the Political Editor of the Irish Examiner wrote:

"Ted O'Connell from Bishopstown West warned delegates next year's referendum was not about what happened in people's bedrooms. It was about equality of esteem and equality of relationships.

Speaking on a motion supporting gay marriage, where there were no speakers against, Mr O'Connell read out a message he had recently received on Facebook describing the plight of gay people in many countries.

'If I lived in Uganda this week I would be jailed for life. My friends and family would be jailed if they didn't report me. If I lived in Russia I wouldn't exist but if I did I would be hunted and abused,' he said.

'If I lived in Iran I would be hanged. If I lived in some parts of Africa I could be stoned or burned to death. If I lived in some states in the US I would be [considered] an abomination.'

However, Mr O'Connell said he lived in Ireland where he was tolerated. He said while he was loved by many he was treated differently by the constitution." 3

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Two polls by the Irish Times and Ipsos show increasing support for same-sex marriage:

  • 2012-NOV: An Irish Times/Ipsos poll showed that:
    • 53% of adults planned to vote Yes on the upcoming referendum that is expected during the first half of 2015.

    • 30% planned to vote No.

    • 17% are undecided or did not respond. 4

A 23 percentage point margin would seem to indicate that the plebiscite will pass. However, the past record of polls in the U.S. indicates that almost all of the "undecided" adults tend to oppose marriage equality on voting day. If the opposition engages in a fear-based program like the ones seen in the U.S. to turn out the "no" voters, same-sex marriage could be defeated.

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  • 2014-APR: Another Irish Times/Ipsos poll taken during 2014-APR-01 and 02 showed a 14 percentage point in support for marriage equality compared to the poll in late 2012:
    • 67% of potential voters plan to vote Yes on the upcoming referendum scheduled for the first half of 2015.
    • 21% plan to vote No
    • 12% are undecided or did not respond.

The opinions of 1,000 potential voters were sampled. The margin of error for the survey was ±3 percentage points.

The usual variations with age and gender was observed, as they are for every other survey on marriage equality we have ever seen, regardless of date and location:

Among young adults aged 18 to 24:

  • 80% of potential voters plan to vote Yes.
  • 13% plan to vote No
  • 7% are undecided or did not respond.

Among seniors, aged 65 and over:

  • 44% of potential voters plan to vote Yes.
  • 40% plan to vote No
  • 16% are undecided or did not respond.

Comparing the genders:

  • 73% of female voters plan to vote Yes.
  • 61% of male voters plan to vote Yes. 4

An increase of 14 percentage points in favor of marriage equality since the 2012 poll, coupled with a 9 percentage point drop opposed to marriage equality makes it all but certain that the referendum will bring same-sex marriage to Ireland, assuming that the poll numbers hold up into the first half of 2015.

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This topic continues in the next page

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References used:

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. "Fine Gaelsays 'yes' to same-sex marriage ...." The Journal, 2014-MAR-01, at:
  3. "Same sex marriage referendum will make Ireland 'a beacon of light'," Irish Examiner, 2014-MAR-03, at:
  4. Stephen Collins, "Support for same-sex marriage increasing, poll finds," Irish Times, 2014-APR-07, 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: 2014-MAR
Latest update: 2014-DEC-17
Author: B.A. Robinson

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