DUBLIN, November 5, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A referendum on same-sex “marriage” will be held in May 2015, the Irish Cabinet announced earlier today. The news has been expected for some time, with Labour Party coalition partners actively lobbying for a redefinition of marriage in the Constitution, a push that has received support from Justice Minister Alan Shatter.
The decision follows the recommendation last April from the Constitutional Convention to allow same-sex partners the name of “marriage” under the Constitution. In 2010, homosexual partners acquired most of the rights and privileges of married couples, with the exception of adoption, with the passage of the Civil Partnerships act.
Deputy Prime Minister and Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore already told a Labour Youth meeting last week that he intends to push legislation to legalise gay “adoption” before the expected marriage referendum.
The marriage issue is expected be buried in a wide array of questions on the referendum ballot, which will also include proposals to abolish the country’s “blasphemy law” and reduce the voting age to 17.
The pro-family Iona Institute immediately issued a media release saying they would oppose the proposition. “It now seems clear that virtually all of the political parties in Ireland are prepared to radically change for the worse the most important child-centred social institution we have,” said the group.
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“They no longer see any reason why we should have a social institution dedicated above all to encouraging men and women to raise their children together. To this extent, they are attacking the natural rights of children.”
Pat Buckley, the representative of the UK’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children in Dublin, told LifeSiteNews.com, “It is absolutely vital that we have organised opposition and this must be arranged quickly as there will be a focused national debate. We need to ensure that everyone who takes part has up to date information and research.”
“In my opinion there is a huge need to educate the public on the facts and it will be necessary to arrange a series of conferences to ensure that available information is being widely distributed,” Buckley added.
Buckley said that he and others would immediately start “building a coalition of like-minded groups” and to address the threat to marriage.