Cork East Fine Gael TD, David Stanton has said that will be voting “Yes” on both referendums due to be held this Friday, 22nd May.
“Our citizens are being asked to vote on two different referendums this Friday: one on marriage and the other on presidential age. I believe a “yes” vote to both these questions will help make Ireland a more inclusive and equal society.
“The referendum on presidential age is seeking to lower the age at which a person can run for president to 21 years and has resulted from a recommendation of the Convention on the Constitution (https://www.constitution.ie/Convention.aspx). Currently it stands at 35 years, so anyone under this age cannot be nominated to even have his or her name on the ballot paper in a presidential election. This referendum, if passed, will bring the age to be eligible for presidential election in line with the age to be eligible for election to Dail Eireann which is also 21 years. I am voting yes to this as I believe that if someone under 35 years can become Taoiseach then it should also be possible to seek a nomination to become President.
“The referendum on marriage is about extending the legal right to marry to two people regardless of their sex, which will mean that same-sex couples will be allowed to marry if the referendum is passed. At present only heterosexual couples can legally marry, whereas civil partnership is the only legal commitment available to homosexual couples. Civil partnership does not confer the same legal rights to people as marriage does, in particular, civil partnership does not enjoy constitutional protection, nor does it provide for succession and property rights. By voting yes in the marriage referendum, I aim to ensure that all couples, regardless of their sexual orientation, are treated equally in Irish law.
“Finally, while I am advocating for a “yes” vote on these two issues, I would ask all those who are eligible to vote on Friday, to exercise their right to vote on these important constitutional issues. For information on what exactly is being asked in the referendums and what a yes vote and a no vote will mean I would ask people to consult the Referendum Commission website at: http://refcom2015.ie/