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Democracy International: Strong NO Rumbling from the Voting Booths, Irish Referenda Defeated

Article written by Lorenza de Luna at Democracy International based on an interview with Dr. Fuller and other academics.



Two constitutional referenda took place on 8 March 2024 in Ireland. Citizens were asked to vote on changes on the Family Amendment (39th in the Constitution) and the Care Amendment (40th in the Constitution). In the Navigator typology, Democracy International classifies such instrument used when the legal status quo of a particular matter is asked to be changed by the law-making institutions as mandatory referendum.


Eligible voters are all Irish citizens, aged 18 or above, resident in the Republic of Ireland, and listed in the register of electors. The questions they were asked on the ballot papers were to vote YES or NO to: (1) Modify the definition of family as recognised by the State in the 39th Amendment from solely founded on marriage to also on other durable relationships; and (2) Modify the 40th Amendment by deleting Article 41.2.1 and 41.2.2, focused on the importance of the role of women concerning “life within the home” and “duties in the home”, and by introducing a new article that highlights the fundamental role of carers within Irish homes with no gender specification. Therefore, the mandatory referenda pertained a change at the Constitutional level that would only mirror a reality that has already being evolving in the Irish society since 1937, when the amendments were written.


Read the full article here

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