IRISH organisations around Britain will be asked to support changing the Irish Constitution to allow gay marriage this week.
Following an open meeting for London’s Irish community organised by the Federation of Irish Societies, London-Irish charity Mind Yourself has decided to make a submission to the Constitutional Convention in favour of amending the Irish Constitution to enable same-sex couples to marry.
The charity has confirmed that their submission will also be forwarded by the Federation of Irish Societies to its 100 members, who will be asked to make a similar submission if they agree.
Mind Yourself’s Cecily Maher said: “We work to improve the health of Irish people in London, so we are delighted that people are taking a step in improving equality and rights for Irish people in London and Irish people at home. We believe that has a really positive impact on people’s health.”
The Constitutional Convention is a 100-strong committee comprising 66 ordinary Irish citizens, 33 politicians and a chairman. It has been tasked by the Irish Government with recommending amendments to Ireland’s 75-year-old Constitution in eight particular areas. Next month, the committee will discuss whether or not to include a constitutional provision for same-sex marriage.
At present, same-sex couples in Ireland can be joined in a civil partnership but cannot marry. Speaking to The Irish Post, the Director of Marriage Equality, Moninne Griffith, said that there are more than 160 legal differences between a civil partnership and a marriage.
Her organisation will make a submission to the Convention this week in favour of a gay marriage amendment.
The Iona Institute, a think tank promoting the place of marriage and religion in society, made a submission to the Convention last week opposing any changes.
Since the Convention began taking submissions in mid-December last year, over 90 per cent of online submissions have favoured an amendment permitting gay marriage.