Opposition briefed on 'women’s place in home' referendum

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan

The Government has briefed opposition parties about the first steps to holding a referendum in the autumn on whether the description of a women’s role being in the home should be deleted from the constitution.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan met opposition justice spokespeople yesterday, when it was reiterated that the vote will likely be held on October 26 this year.

Legal advice given to the Government has also said the vote should be a repeal simpliciter — this involves asking the electorate whether nor to remove the reference rather than replacing it with any terms or words.

Labour has been pushing for language in the Constitution to be instead changed to gender-neutral terms, signalling the role of both parents.

However, the Government has advised against this voting question by the Attorney General.

The planned polling day has been allocated to coincide with any potential presidential election vote — if a contest was to go ahead. Mr Flanagan reiterated the advice and the planned date yesterday.

A referendum on removing the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution is also planned for the same day.

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