Constitutional Convention expected to consider marriage equality
The news media are all a-flurry about the government’s Constitutional Convention, the proposals for which are expected to be released this week.
It’s expected to discuss permitting marriage between persons of the same sex, as well as dealing with plenty of other, worthy topics: amending the clause on women in the home; reducing the voting age to 17; letting emigrants vote in presidential elections; changes in the Dáil electoral system; reducing the presidential term from seven to five years.
But back to marriage equality: While this is all thoroughly wonderful and positive, am I missing something here? The Constitution doesn’t define marriage.
Judicial and statutory interpretation have done, but the Constitution is silent on the matter.
Like all interpretation, those judicial and statutory interpretations are subject to change. Why doesn’t the government just legislate? Since marriage equality was recently banned through legislation, presumably it can be un-banned through the same mechanism.
They are working on drafting a Civil Registration (Amendment) Bill at the moment. Presumably, that’s the ideal opportunity: Just include a provision to delete s.2(2)(e) of the Civil Registration Act 2004. Et voilà!
Look, just like in the UK, I’ve even saved the government some work and gone and drafted the text:
(a) Section 2(2)(e) of the Act of 2004 is hereby deleted.
(b) Section 2 of the Act of 2004 is amended by the insertion of the following paragraph after Section 2(2):
“Section 2(2)A.—It shall not be an impediment to marriage if both parties are of the same sex.”