Date set for Ireland’s same-sex marriage referendum

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

Ireland has set a provisional date for the country’s referendum on same-sex marriage.

The Republic of Ireland will head to the polls on May 22, to vote on proposals to legalise civil same-sex marriage.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny – who is in favour of same-sex marriage – said he expects the referendum to be held on Friday May 22.

He told RTE: “It’s a question that will be put very clearly to the people. I support this very strongly.

“It sets out our image of a very tolerant and inclusive Ireland.”

=The exact wording of the referendum will be: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”

Recent polls have suggested around a 70% support for same-sex marriage in Ireland. Actor Colin Farrell recently confirmed his support for it “with every fibre of my being”.

2015 is a big year for equality in Ireland, as the government is also furthering plans to allow for same-sex adoption, and new drafting gender recognition laws.

At present, Irish law has no process for recognising that transgender people do not identify as their birth gender, but the Irish government is pressing ahead with a long-awaited bill that was brought about after a court settlement.

However, Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has attacked the “disgraceful” draft gender bill for a number of provisions that limit access to gender recognition.

A poll last week found that one in five potential voters in Ireland are still undecided on same-sex marriage, just three months before the country’s referendum.

It will be the third big vote in May – next to the UK’s General Election on May 7, and the Eurovision Song Contest on May 23.