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Barry Dignam and Hugh Walsh were the first male couple in Ireland to enter a civil partnership last April. Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Poll shows strong support for same-sex marriage

A recent poll reveals a 73 per cent support for allowing same-sex marriage in the Constitution.

MORE THAN 70 per cent of people polled in a recent Red C research project said they agreed that same-sex marriage should be allowed in the Irish constitution.

The research was presented to the Oireachtas yesterday in a report prepared for the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on last year’s Constitutional referendum.

Report on Reasons Behind Voter Behaviour in the Oireachtas Inquiry Referendum 2011 also looked at why people voted as they did in the October referendum on the powers of the Oireachtas and what the public thinks about other aspects of the political reform agenda.

“The poll confirms the openness of Irish people and their support for further critically important progress to achieving equality for lesbian and gay people,” said Kieran Rose, chairperson of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN).

GLEN works towards securing access to civil marriage for lesbian and gay people as it sees it as the only option that will achieve equality of status with opposite-sex couples.

The survey follows yesterday’s reports that the Government will soon issue draft proposals for the make-up of the Constitutional Convention which will look at possible changes to the constitution, also allowing for amendments to the Dáil’s electorate system, the length of the presidential term, the clause on women in the home, the inclusion of blasphemy as an offence and the voting age.

As well as the poll on same-sex marriage, the Red C research revealed an 87 per cent support for a significant reduction in the number of TDs.

There was firm opposition to any reform of the single transferable vote electoral system with only 34 per cent agreeing that it should be replaced.

It was a mixed reaction from those polled on reducing the presidential term from seven to five years and removing the offence of blasphemy from the constitution.

The possibility of omitting the constitutional reference to women’s life within the home was also met with divided opinions.

The same survey asked 1005 respondents if the Seanad should be abolished and 59 per cent agreed that it should. Asked about local government, six in ten people said it should be given power to raise and manage it owns finances.

Download: The full Oireachtas Report here>

Related: Voters sketchy on arguments made for or against Oireachtas inquiries referendum>

Earlier: Cautious welcome given to progress on constitutional convention>

More: Youth lobby launches campaign seeking votes for 16-year-olds>

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