The Constitutional Convention

In July 2012 the houses of the Oireachtas established the Constitutional Convention to consider several areas of potential constitutional reform. One of the issues it was to consider was whether there should be equal access to civil marriage for lesbian and gay couples

Establishment of the convention

The Houses of the Oireachtas established the Constitutional Convention in July 2012. It was to consider several areas of potential constitutional reform. One of the issues it was to consider was whether there should be equal access to civil marriage for lesbian and gay couples.

Submissions to the convention 

As part of the process of considering the issue of equal marriage, the convention asked for submissions to be made from members of the public. The response was the largest that the convention has recieved on any issue it was asked to consider with 1,079 submission made. The vast majority of submissions were in favour of changing the law to allow equal access to civil marriage for lesbian and gay couples. GLEN made its submission entitled The Remarkable Journey Towards Equality and Civil Marriage for Lesbian and Gay People in Ireland. The full list of submissions made on equal marriage can be read at the Constitutional Convention's website.

The weekend of April 13th/14th was set as the date for the convention to consider the issue.  

GLEN presentation to the convention

GLEN were one of several interested parties to be asked by the constitutional convention to make a presentation to the convention during their deliberations on the issue. GLEN worked with Marriagequality and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) to make the case for equal marriage rights to the convention. Tiernan Brady and Muriel Walls of GLEN made the presentation on behalf of GLEN. To see the video of the presentation click here. To see all the presentations made over the weekend of the deliberations click here.

Convention calls for equal access to civil marrriage for lesbian and gay couples

After a weekend of debate and consideration, the Constitutional Convention overwhelmingly called for a change in the law to enusre equal status for lesbian and gay couples and their families. The convention broke the issue of into three seperate questions. THe results were:

1. Should the Constitution be changed to allow for civil marriage for same-sex couples: Yes 79 No 19 No opinion 1

2. Should any proposed amendment be directive or permissive in nature: Directive 78 Permissive 17 No opinion 1

3. The State shall enact laws incorporating changed arrangements in regard to parentage, guardianship and the upbringing of children: Yes 81 No 12 No opinion 2

The Next Steps

Following on from the overwhelming decision of the Constitutional Convention in favour of equal marriage a report was sent from the convention to the government on the 2nd of July 2013. The Government must now provide to the Oireachtas a response to each recommendation of the convention within four months and, if accepting the recommendation, will indicate the timeframe it envisages for the holding of any related referendum.

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