Ireland to vote on gay marriage in May 22 public referendum

Voters in the Irish Republic will decide whether or not to approve legal same-sex marriage in a referendum on May 22.

In announcing the date, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the referendum would underline Ireland’s reputation as a tolerant and inclusive nation.

Mr Kenny said that most members of the Irish Parliament were in favour of same-sex marriage.

He hoped support for the referendum would be maintained.

The proposal to be put to Irish voters will read: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”

The Catholic Church in Ireland has opposed legalising same-sex unions.

But an opinion poll published in the Irish Times late last year found more than two thirds of voters would back gay marriage in a referendum.

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