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Ireland schedules 2015 referendum on same-sex marriage

CWN - November 05, 2013

The Irish government plans a nationwide referendum on legal recognition of same-sex marriage. The vote will be scheduled early in 2015.

Justice minister Alan Shatter introduced plans for the referendum at a cabinet meeting on November 5, and a spokesman said that the government headed by Prime Minister Enda Kenny would be "actively supporting" acceptance of same-sex marriage.

Speaking for the Irish bishops' conference, Bishop Denis Nulty said that the referendum "is not about equality or about the false separation of a religious view of marriage from the civil view of marriage. It is about the very nature of marriage itself and the importance society places on the role of mothers and fathers in bringing up children."

The Dublin-based Iona Institute, a family-oriented think tank, agreed: "The debate over same-sex marriage is really about the value we as a society attach to motherhood and fatherhood and the natural ties between children and their parents."

The Iona Institute was not optimistic about the prospects for the referendum. The group said: "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-centered social institution we have."

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