Irish Government Faces Defeat in Constitutional Referenda on Family and Care

Irish Government Faces Defeat in Constitutional Referenda
Irish Government Faces Defeat in Constitutional Referenda
Irish Government Faces Defeat in Constitutional Referenda
Irish Government Faces Defeat in Constitutional Referenda

Irish Government Faces Defeat in Constitutional Referenda on Family and Care

Irish Government Faces Defeat in Constitutional Referenda on Family and Care

Irish Government Faces Defeat in Constitutional Referenda on Family and Care

The Irish government experienced defeat in its attempt to replace two constitutional references on Saturday. The proposed changes included removing the statement that the family unit is “founded” on marriage and altering the reference to a woman’s support of the Irish state through “her life within the home.” Prime Minister Leo Varadkar acknowledged the defeat at a press conference in Dublin, stating that both the family and care amendment referendums had not passed.

Low Turnout and Conservative Opposition

Official results were scheduled to be announced later on Saturday, with reports of a low turnout, particularly in some areas with less than 30% of registered voters. The proposed changes aimed to state that the family is based “on marriage or on other durable relationships.” Conservative groups campaigned against the amendments, arguing for the retention of the constitution’s original wording. In a heated debate before the vote, conservative campaigner Maria Steen clashed with Deputy Prime Minister Micheal Martin, emphasizing traditional gender roles.

Historical Context and Changing Influences

Ireland’s constitution, influenced by Catholic social teachings when published in 1937, has undergone shifts in recent decades with the decreasing influence of the Catholic Church. Previous referendums in Ireland have seen voters supporting progressive changes, including the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015, the end of an abortion ban in 2018, and the liberalization of divorce laws in 2019.

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