Ireland: Cabinet discusses equal marriage referendum

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The Irish government is discussing the country’s same-sex marriage referendum at a meeting of the cabinet.

The Irish Independent reports it is not clear if the government will decide to set a day for the vote – but an April ballot is thought to be the favoured option.

Ministers are also expected to sign off on more detailed draft legislation which will recognise change of gender.

The move follows on the case of Dr Lydia Foy, who fought a marathon legal battle in the Irish courts and the European Court of Human Rights to gain official recognition from male to female gender.

Dr Foy end her long-running legal battle with the Irish government in October.

Support for same-sex marriage in Ireland has risen over the past few months.

A poll published on Sunday by the Irish Times showed that 71% of Irish voters said they would vote in favour of same-sex marriage, 17% would vote no and 3% refused to respond to the question.

When undecided voters or those who refused to respond are excluded, the Yes figure rises to 81% with 19% on the No side.

It’s an increase since the last poll in October, when the figure, excluding undecided voters and those who refused to answer, was 76% for Yes to 24% for No.