Worthy Wording


90270018The 2012 Noise for Marriage march in Dublin

‘Marriage May Be Contracted In Accordance With Law By Two Persons Without Distinction As To Their Sex’

The wording of the May same sex marriage referendum. The Cabinet met this morning to discuss the referendum along with one on reducing the age limit for presidential election candidates from 35 to 21 years of age. No exact date has been given for the vote.


Wording of Marriage Equality referendum published (RTÉ)

(Photocall Ireland)


“This is a historic day for Ireland and Irish people. The proposed wording would amend the Constitution to add a right for lesbian and gay couples to have a civil marriage. Today we move a step closer to full inclusion in our Constitution for lesbian and gay couples. The referendum will put the question of equality in the Constitution for lesbian and gay couples to the people, as recommended by the Constitutional Convention. The referendum, if carried, will complete the remarkable 25-year journey to Constitutional equality for lesbian and gay people in Ireland”

Kieran Rose, chairman of Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN)

“We have made great progress towards equality based on the generosity and fairness of the Irish people and we are confident that we can appeal to this sense of generosity and fairness once more. The proposed wording would ensure that existing marriages and future marriages of men and women are not altered in any way. The proposed amendment would update the Constitution to say that any two people can marry, regardless of their sex. This wording rightly emphasises that the intention is to extend marriage ‘without distinction’ as to the sex of the spouses, thereby removing the last roadblock to the recognition in law of the full equality and dignity of same sex couples.”

ICCL Mark Kelly, director of the Irish Council on Civil Liberties (ICCL)

“We look forward to a positive campaign for the referendum which focuses on the value of marriage to everyone in Irish society and explains why marriage matters to lesbian and gay couples. Irish people rightly take constitutional change very seriously and our job over the next four months will be to engage in a national conversation with the citizens of Ireland to understand and assuage any concerns, and to encourage people to have their voices heard on the day.”

Grainne Healy, chair of MarriageEquality.ie

43 thoughts on “Worthy Wording

  1. Jess

    Good work, keep it simple. The legislation will have to define what constitutes sex in regards to intersex and trans people, if it doesnt already

      1. Jess

        Yeah but then you have to know what constitutes sex. Is it at birth or gender identity, legal wars have been fought over less. But its not a big deal, this is hardly uncharted waters and its standard to define terms in any legislation

        1. Someone

          But the amendment says “Without Distinction As To Their Sex” So if they are born males who identify as females or vice versa the law doesn’t give a shit, Gender identity is left out of it.
          Now the only questions to be asked are:
          “You married to someone else? No!
          You of legal age? Yes!

    1. rotide

      I’m confused as to why they have to define what sex means when it specifically says “without distinction to their sex”.

      As long as the trans falls under the definition of ‘person’ it will be fine.

      1. Jess

        I’m not a legal expert. This is just the constitutional amendment, there will probably have to be legislation accompanying it to amend previous laws such as civil partnership and inheritance law and adoption law as it says ‘in accordance with law’. Within that you may need to define sex, I assume so, but I could be wrong.

        A bit like how blasphemy was ‘punishable in accordance with the law’ but blasphemy wasn’t defined in the constitution.

        1. ahjayzis

          I really doubt it. Crux of the sentence is if you’re an adult person of sound mind, you can wed another adult person of sound mind. Make sense to define ‘person’, seems completely pointless to bring gender definitions into it since the measure explicitly rules it out as an issue.

  2. Soundings

    I think Bodger was aiming for some outrage or comment on the use of the word “contracted”. You contract AIDS, porphyria and now marriage – can be treated by infidelity and cured with divorce.

    1. sickofallthisbs

      That and marriage is a legal contract you sign so the verb contract (as in to enter into an agreement/agree to a contract) was used there. Surely, one of the hacks from BS wouldn’t want to cause a row in the comments section? And surely all journalists know the meaning of commonly used words in the English language?

  3. newsjustin

    Good, robust wording to be fair. Simplicity is the key, the less one says, the less can be challenged or used for perverse ends.

      1. Jess

        I can’t wait until the downfall of society and I can marry my own leg. And have an alligator as a pet!

    1. newsjustin

      But then the whole crux of the matter will not have been tackled – i.e. that writers of the constitution envisaged only man-woman marriage when they wrote the constitution so any law enacted to allow same-sex marriage would (likely) fail a constitutional test unless the constitution is amended to explicitly say that same-sex marriage is allowable.

      The “In Accordance with Law” bit ensures that law can still be set and amended to ensure people can’t marry their brothers, children, etc, etc (and so that the more mundane rules around marriage can be set).

  4. Advertising On Police Cars

    The referendum will be defeated, Catholic conservative Ireland will rally and vote this down, so will a lot of so called “liberal supporters” who will say one thing then vote the opposite.
    Its the Irish way, begrudge the Homos cuz the Heteros can..

    1. Dubloony

      I’ve no doubt they will be rallying their troops. The outcome should not be taken for granted.
      Right now the line is that marriage is open to procreation and that is something that a gay couple can’t have.

      However, is a widow(ers) second marriage in later life not “real” because having children is off the table?

      (Am practicing counter arguments!)

  5. Well that's that

    eh…. reducing the age of Presidential candidates to 21…. a potentially 21 year old President, are they mental?! I could barely tie my shoelaces at 21

    1. newsjustin

      Yep. If anything, they should simply remove any age limit.

      By having a limit of 21, they are saying – we think a 21 year old could do the job, but a 20 year old couldn’t. Like when it was 35, they were effectively saying a 33 y/o couldn’t do it.

      One of the arguments I’m sure the Yes side of this will have will be “it should be down to individuals, if someone is good enough for the job, they’ll be elected”. If that’s the case – have no limit. Or just have 18…..so Mr or Mrs President can board flights on their own.

    1. Rob

      they still won’t be able to marry their bro/sis/mum/cousin/dad.

      There are still plenty of restrictions on marriage, this just deals with gender and does it well.

  6. Frilly Keane

    Why use Sex at all?

    “…. Be allowed Marry Whoever You Want….”

    How’s that for simple wording

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