The Guardian reports that government of the Republic of Ireland is to hold a referendum in mid-2015 on whether to allow same-sex marriage. This year the country’s constitutional convention recommended changes to allow same-sex couples to marry and have the same legal rights as the rest of the population.
Dr Richard O’Leary, the chairperson of Changing Attitude Ireland, welcomed the referendum and challenged all the churches not to oppose it.
He said: “The government’s intention to hold a referendum to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples will facilitate discussion and challenge the ignorance, especially in the churches, of the positive experiences of same-sex relationships.
“We hope that the Irish churches will embrace the message of inclusion, which is shared by many Christians, and will not oppose the extension of full civil rights to gay and lesbian persons. In particular we hope that the minority Protestant churches in Ireland will empathise with the minority gay community and support legal equality for all the people of Ireland.”
All the opinions polls taken over recent years have shown a consistent majority of the Republic’s electorate are in favour of full equality in law for same-sex couples.