An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, told national broadcaster RTÉ that the date had been set by the government as May 22 for the Marriage Equality Referendum, which Mr Kenny stated would be about tolerance, respect and sensitivity.
All of the major Irish political parties are in support of this referendum, both in government and in opposition. Outside of Leinster House, opinion polls consistently show that the vast majority of Irish people are also in support of same-sex marriage.
Earlier this year, the current Minister for Health, Fine Gael’s Leo Varadkar, came out as gay on live radio, while former Fianna Fáil minister Pat Carey came out as gay last week while also criticising his own party for lacking “energy and urgency” regarding the marriage referendum.
Speaking recently on the subject of campaigning for a Yes vote for the upcoming referendum, Gráinne Healy, Chairwoman of the group MarriagEquality stated:
“Marriage equality is a grassroots movement, and we are confident the referendum will be won, as every person who supports lesbian and gay peoples’ right to marry gets behind the Yes campaign. We are encouraging supporters to have conversations with family, friends and colleagues. People who may have concerns, or unanswered questions, are being engaged with and are getting reassurances. This is how the soft support turns into yes votes.”