Referendum decision day approaches
Published 12/05/2015 | 00:00
Same-sex marriage and the age for presidential candidates will both be voted on in referendums on Friday, May 22, 2015.
If the same-sex, or marriage equality referendum passes, it will allow two people to get married, whether they are of the same sex or opposite sex.
Since 2011, same-sex couples in Ireland have been entitled to have a civil partnership, which is a State-recognised form of union. Although civil partnerships encompass some of what's involved in a regular marriage, there remains several key differences in status between the two.
The act of civil marriage in Ireland is exclusively available for opposite-sex couples at the moment, but a majority vote for same-sex marriage recognition in the referendum would lead to same-sex couples enjoying exactly the same marriage rights as opposite-sex couples.
The second vote of referendum day, will be to ask whether the age at which someone should be eligible to run for president should be reduced from 35 to 21.
Ireland's current age barrier for presidential candidates is in line with international norms, such as those in force in the USA and Italy. If we vote in favour of reducing the age requirement, we would be moving closer to the French model, which says that citizens aged 18 or over are entitled to run for the position of president.