The Irish Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore, has announced that the country will hold a referendum on equal marriage in 2014.
This comes several weeks after a report by the Constitutional Convention back in April, which voted overwhelmingly in favour of holding a referendum on legalising same-sex marriage.
The National Lesbian and Gay Federation, welcomed the announcement in a statement saying “The NLGF has always asserted that the issue of marriage equality should not require a public vote as marriage is a fundamental human and civil right that should be open to all citizens of this country.
However, as the government has affirmed the need for a referendum on this issue, we will firmly give our support to the campaign to secure a Yes vote on the day of the poll.”
While some in Fine Gael would prefer to push the referendum back further, the Tanaiste (Deputy prime minister of Ireland, Eamon Gilmore) told an event organised by the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) it will “realistically” happen in 2014.
“I suppose realistically we’re probably looking at next year sometime,” Mr Gilmore told the event in Google’s European headquarters on Dublin’s Barrow Street.
The Tanaiste was asked about a referendum during a question-and-answer session at the GLEN event.
Mr Gilmore replied: “Well the commitment we have given is that once the Constitutional Convention presents its report in respect of the part of the Constitutional Convention dealing with same-sex marriage, that report is going to be formally tabled I think this month, formally tabled.”