Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny faces revolt over gay marriage referendum

By on November 5, 2013

Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny faces a revolt within his own Fine Gael party over plans to hold a gay marriage referendum.

Kenny had committed to putting a vote on same sex weddings to the people after pressure from his Coalition partners in the Labour Party.

The junior coalition partners want the vote held before the current government leaves office.

But Fine Gael activists are opposed to the plan and some who believe the public are suffering from referendum fatigue are to fight the proposed vote, according to the Sunday Independent.

The paper says the government will decide this week whether or not to hold a referendum with several Fine Gael TDs, a mix of both liberals and conservatives, adamant the public doesn’t want any more referendums.

Labour Party leader and deputy PM Eamon Gilmore wants to hold the gay marriage referendum in autumn 2014 or in spring 2015.

But one Fine Gael minister told the paper: “The people gave us a kick up the backside in two referendums, so we won’t be hurrying back for a third one.”

A Labour minister also expressed concern that: “There is a possibility, even if the opinion polls say that 99 per cent of the people support it, that a referendum will be lost; we have plenty of history there.”

The report says a number of rural deputies, including John O’Mahony from Mayo and Tony McLoughlin from Sligo-North Leitrim, are believed to have ‘concerns’ about recognising same-sex marriage.

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