The Marriage Referendum on ConstitutionProject.ie

With the broadcast moratorium now in effect citizens have some breathing space to reflect on the Marriage Referendum before polling closes tomorrow.

ConstitutionProject.ie, through Dr Conor O’Mahony, Dr Laura Cahillane and Dr Seán Ó Conaill, has engaged with many aspects of the various issues and debates surrounding the Marriage Referendum via media engagement, speaking at public events/debates and in particular blogging here on ConstitutionProject.ie.

Immediately prior to the campaign beginning in earnest Dr Conor O’Mahony looked at how the issue of Marriage Equality made it the US Supreme Court.

Dr Seán Ó Conaill explored the potential issues surrounding the use of terminology in the Referendum Campaign particular with regard to the Referendum Commission.

Although not directly connected to the Referendum itself there has been much discussion during the campaign on the Children and Family Relationships Bill. Dr Conor O’Mahony explored the constitutionality of the bill.

The Irish language wording of the proposed amendment attracted a lot of attention in the early stages of the campaign. Dr O’Mahony and Dr Ó Conaill engaged in a high profile debate in the Irish Times. Dr Ó Conaill also analysed the original wording and drafting process (also available in Irish) and the revised final wording.

During the height of the Marriage Referendum campaign the Supreme Court issued its judgment in the Jordan case. Although the Jordan case was concerned with the Childrens’ Referendum and not the Marriage Referendum, the case had relevance to all referendum campaigns (as discussed by Dr Cahillane here).  The judgment helped to clarify the terms of engagement for the ongoing referendums; Dr Ó Conaill provided some analysis here.

However, of all the issues in the Marriage Referendum debate, the one that attracted the most attention and interest was the issue of surrogacy and donor assisted human reproduction. Dr O’Mahony conducted an extensive analysis of the issue, which was widely quoted and referred to in the course of the campaign (see, eg., the Irish Times Newspaper, the Irish Times podcast, the Irish Examiner, RTE Drivetime and Spirit Radio) and was the most viewed piece on ConstitutionProject.ie with almost 7,000 views. Dr Laura Cahillane also appeared on an RTÉ Prime Time feature on the issue and offered her expert opinion. Finally, Dr O’Mahony concluded the commentary on the issue with an analysis of the number of lawyers offering opinions on both sides of the surrogacy/DAHR issue.

Thank you for reading!

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