Press release

Green Party launches campaign for Yes Yes vote

9th February 2024
Value All Our Families Slogan

The Green Party today (February 9th) became the first political party to launch a campaign for a Yes Yes vote in the upcoming referendums on March 8th. The Green Party has long campaigned against the sexist language used in the Constitution, promising to remove the clause in its 2020 manifesto and lobbying to include it in the Programme for Government. The party is erecting at least 750 posters and distributing 50,000 leaflets to encourage the public to vote Yes to both amendments.

A key change to the Constitution will be the recognition of all families, regardless of marriage. At present, the Constitution only recognises families if the parents are married, excluding families with unmarried parents and lone parents.

The party is equally determined to eliminate out-dated language from the Constitution and remove the idea that women should be limited to specific fields or that they ‘belong’ in certain areas. The party is supporting a Yes vote to ensure people who care for family members get full recognition of the important work they perform and the benefit society receives from it.

The Constitution reflects who we are as a society and this referendum is an opportunity to reflect the changes in our modern society.

Today’s launch was led by Party Leader Eamon Ryan; Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman; and Director of Elections for the two referendums, Senator Pauline O’Reilly.

Minister Eamon Ryan, Leader of the Green Party said;

“Women's contributions are highly valued and will continue to be in our Constitution. However, voting yes to this referendum will get rid of sexist and archaic language that no longer speaks to the Ireland we live in today. It will be more inclusive and give full recognition to everyone who provides care in our homes whether that’s to children, to older relations or to people with disabilities. 

“The Green Party is working with a wide range of political parties, voluntary associations and community groups across Ireland, to ask people to vote Yes on International Women’s Day. The response on the doors has been positive with many people saying that they will vote to protect the role of carers, broaden the definition of family and remove outdated language from the Constitution."

Minister Catherine Martin, Deputy Leader of the Green Party, said;

“There are so many families that we all know of, where the same love and care exists as in any other family, where there are either single parents or unmarried parents. These families deserve equal recognition in our constitution.

“It is not reflective of our modern society for the constitution to say that a woman’s place is or should be in the home. A yes-yes vote in both referendums would help to create a more equal and inclusive society in Ireland.”

Minister for Equality, Roderic O’Gorman said;

“Right now, the wording of our Constitution does not match our values as a society. The current wording means the exclusion of thousands of relationships, that we would instinctively describe as families, from the recognition and protection of the Constitution.

“It describes women in a singular role, divorced from the reality of their lives and careers, across our State today. And it fails to recognise that care in a family, be it the care of young children, a sibling with a disability, or an elderly parent, is a role for everyone, irrespective of their gender.

"With two Yes votes in the referendums being held on 8 March, we have the opportunity to change our Constitution, and ensure that those words match our values.”

Senator Pauline O’Reilly, Director of Elections for the Referendums said;

“Our Constitution reflects who we are as a society and this referendum is an opportunity to reflect the changes in our modern society. Currently, the Constitution only recognises families if the parents are married but excludes families with unmarried parents and lone parents.

“In a time when more than four in ten children are born to unmarried parents, the Constitution is completely out of step with modern life. We cannot, and should not, say that some families are superior to others, this referendum is about treating all types of family equally.”

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