Irish voters give resounding ‘No’ to downgrading marriage and motherhood

Government proposals to erase stay-at-home mums from the Irish Constitution and to equate “durable relationships” with marriage have been overwhelmingly rejected by voters.

The family amendment, promoting “durable relationships” as equal to marriage, was rejected by 67.69% of voters, and 73.93% of people voted down the care amendment on ending the State’s commitment to stay-at-home mums.

The Christian Institute’s Ciarán Kelly welcomed the result, calling it “a resounding affirmation of marriage and motherhood”.

David and Goliath

The amendments returned the highest and third highest ‘No votes’ in the history of Irish referenda.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar conceded: “Clearly we got it wrong. I think Enda Kenny famously said once that the electorate often gives the Government a wallop, this was two wallops.”

a resounding affirmation of marriage and motherhood

Independent Senator Rónán Mullen called on the Government to “stop playing ideological games” and take on board voters’ overwhelming rejection of anti-marriage and anti-family measures.

Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD hailed the outcome as a “victory for the Irish people against the political establishment”, in what he characterised as a “David V Goliath” contest.

‘Virtue signalling’

One of the most prominent critics of the proposals, Senator Michael McDowell, said the vote showed that the Government had clearly “misjudged the mood of the electorate”.

Ahead of the vote, in an interview with RTÉ News, Snr McDowell criticised the Family Amendment for claiming that the “natural primary and fundamental unit group of Society” can be founded on “other durable relationships” rather than on marriage.

a victory for the Irish people against the political establishment

The former Attorney General argued: “This is a mistake in the making, it’s going to bring chaos to family law, it’s going to bring unworked out changes to tax law, pensions law, family law and inheritance laws and immigration law, it’s going to do all of that, and it is foolish to make this mistake now”.

Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter also attacked the changes. In a scathing letter to The Irish Times, he branded them “legally flawed political virtue signalling”.

Also see:

Lawyers back ‘important role’ of stay-at-home mums ahead of Irish referendum

Irish referendum ‘a recipe for chaos and uncertainty’ says former Attorney General

Seven-in-ten Irish mums want to stay at home to bring up children