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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Government can stay neutral on gay marriage vote, says Gilmore

Published 15/07/2013 | 05:00

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LABOUR is willing to allow a gay marriage referendum to be held next year without any government backing – as the party continues to push the liberal agenda after the abortion bill.

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The Government's own constitutional think-thank voted overwhelmingly in favour of gay marriage earlier this year, pushing it up the political agenda.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore admitted it would be possible for the Government to take no position on the referendum – which might help assuage the concerns of Fine Gael TDs.

"That is something that might well arise. It's something we haven't given a great degree of consideration to. In any event, the Constitution is the people's property," he said.

This would be in stark contrast to the usual practice of the Government supporting any referendum it proposes. The Government is collectively backing the Seanad abolition referendum – even though many of Mr Gilmore's Labour TDs and senators are opposed to it.

Mr Gilmore said a referendum on multiple subjects could possibly be held next year.

Irish Independent

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