Ireland looks set to reject constitutional changes

DUBLIN – Ireland appeared all set to deny appeals to replace constitutional references to the makeup of a family and women’s “life within the home” when votes are counted on Saturday, in what would be a prominent defeat for the government. Regina Doherty, a lawmaker for the Fine Gael party which governs in coalition with Fianna Fail and the Green Party, revealed to national broadcaster RTE that early tallies from Friday’s poll showed the Irish people had voted “in an extremely huge way” in opposition to the proposals in two referendums, called the family amendment and the care amendment.Ballot boxes were opened at 9 a.m. (0900 GMT) on Saturday and the result is anticipated later in the day.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar had pitched the votes, knowingly held on Friday to coincide with International Women’s Day, as an opportunity to delete some “extremely old-fashioned, very sexist language about women”. The two appeals would make transformations to the text of article 41 in the Irish constitution, put into words in 1937. The first asked citizens to create detailed information in the definition of family from a rapport discovered on marriage to also involve other durable rapports, whether founded on marriage or not.

The second would replace dated language surrounding a “mother’s duties in the home” with a clause recognising care provided by family members by “reason of the bonds that are available among them”. But campaigners were passionately expressing that the proposed replacement constitutional wording – saying the state shall “strive” to be a backbone of the care provision – would enshrine care as a private duty and not a state one.