Joint News Release

 Marriage Equality, Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, Irish Council for Civil Liberties

 Dublin, 12th April 2013

An unprecedented 1000 plus submissions on marriage for same-sex couples have been made to the Constitutional Convention in advance of its deliberations on the topic, which take place this weekend. Of the more than 1,000 submissions the Convention received, three quarters were in favour of marriage equality.

In a joint statement this morning (12 April 2013), advocacy groups Marriage Equality, the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) have welcomed prospects for a balanced and enlightening discussion on civil marriage for same-sex couples in Ireland.

Marriage Equality Director, Moninne Griffith said:

“having read the submissions, we see cross societal support for this issue with submissions made from a number of Trade Unions, individuals, families, Amnesty International and the Equality Authority. Submissions from family and friends of lesbian and gay people were very informative, many stating that they wanted people they care about being treated equally in a modern Ireland where marriage is for everyone and where same sex couples and their families should have equal rights to the legal and state protections afforded by marriage.  The submissions reflect the current polls that say 75% or three quarters of the Irish population would vote yes in a marriage equality referendum.” 

GLEN Director, Brian Sheehan said:

“Thousands of lesbians and gay men and their families all across Ireland await the outcome of the Convention discussions this weekend. The delegates have the opportunity to advance the remarkable journey towards full constitutional equality for lesbian and gay people in Ireland. The move to civil marriage now is not a massive leap; it is an incremental step building on powerful civil partnership legislation and on the enthusiastic welcome by Irish people for the more than 1,000 civil partnerships that have already taken place in Ireland.”

ICCL Director Mr Mark Kelly said:

"Equality is binary state. Either one is equal or one is not. This weekend's discussion at the Convention on the Constitution is a golden opportunity to address one of the last bastions of legal discrimination in Ireland: the exclusion of same sex couples from full civil marriage. Only full civil marriage constitutes full equality, and we are confident that the Convention will send a decisive message to the Government that this pernicious form of discrimination must be brought to an end".

After this weekend, the Convention, as per its Terms of Reference, will submit its recommendation to Government within two months on whether marriage equality should be provided for in the Constitution. The Government has then promised to publish its decision on what it proposes to do with the recommendation within 4 months, including a decision on whether or not to hold a referendum on the issue.


For more information, please contact:

Michelle Thomas

Marriage Equality.  086 2426 733

Brian Sheehan

Director GLEN. 086 2330417 brian@glen.ie 

Walter Jayawardene

Communications Manager - Irish Council for Civil Liberties

087 9981574   walter.jayawardene@iccl.ie



  • The Convention on the Constitution will meet on the weekend of Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 April with a view to reporting recommendations to the Houses of the Oireachtas on the constitutional provision for marriage for same-sex couples. For more information on the Convention on the Constitution see www.constitution.ie. The sessions will take place in the Grand Hotel, Malahide.
  • Presentations and panel sessions by legal and academic experts, and by advocacy organisations, will take place on Saturday 13 April. Advocacy group presentations will commence from 1pm.
  • The ICCL, GLEN and Marriage Equality will jointly make the case for opening up civil marriage in Ireland to same-sex couples. The Convention will also hear contributions from a number of religious organisations opposed to extending civil marriage to same-sex couples, including the Knights of Columbanus, the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference and the Evangelical Alliance.
  • The public sessions of the Convention will be streamed live online via www.constitution.ie. It will also be available to view via the Hear Our Voices initiative website: www.hearourvoices.ie. Hear Our Voices is an initiative of The Irish Council for Civil Liberties, working to ensure that the voices of civil society organisations will be heard in an effective way during the constitutional convention process. Twitter users can follow proceedings at the hashtag #ccven
  • About Marriage Equality

Marriage Equality is a national not for profit organisation working for equality for same sex couples, families and their children through access to civil marriage. Marriage Equality was launched in February 2008. It grew from the KAL Advocacy Initiative: a group set up to support the case to recognise the Canadian marriage of two Irish citizens - Drs Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan.

With over 3,000 supporters throughout Ireland, the organisation has had significant impact on public and political opinion in relation to the issue, through a combination of media and communications, research and policy, advocacy and lobbying work. Public support for marriage equality has grown from 56% in 2008 to 75% in 2012.

For more information please visit www.marriagequality.ie

  • About the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network

The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network is a non-governmental organisation that campaigns for equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people in marriage, at home, at school, at work and in the wider community. www.glen.ie

  • About the Irish Council for Civil Liberties

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) is Ireland’s independent human rights watchdog, which monitors, educates and campaigns in order to secure full enjoyment of human rights for everyone. Founded in 1976 by Mary Robinson and others, the ICCL has been campaigning for over three decades for full equality for same-sex couples. www.iccl.ie



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