Public Meeting | Tuesday March 5Th 8Pm I Wynn’s Hotel, Abbey Street  

On the 8th March, you will be asked to vote yes or no to expanding the definition of the family.

Our Constitution was drafted in 1937 and only recognises families with married parents.

Back then, the Catholic Church had a huge controlling influence over people’s lives. Priests preached from their pulpits against contraception, sex outside marriage, unmarried mothers and so-called illegitimate children. Their twisted morality brought us the horrors of the Magdalene Laundries, Mother and Baby Homes, the 8th amendment and physical and sexual abuse of children.

The people of Ireland have left that dark past behind. The massive votes for Repeal and marriage equality showed that we believe in equality and equal rights for all. We won’t be told what to do anymore by the Catholic Church.

The bishops are calling for a no vote in the family referendum because they want to turn back the clock. They want to force people to get married regardless of personal circumstances. They want discrimination against single-parent families, cohabiting couples and the 40% of children living in non-married families to continue.

A yes vote in the family referendum would reject all of that. It would recognise all families and it would cherish all the children of the nation equally.

People Before Profit urges you to vote yes to the family referendum.

On the 8th March, the government is asking you to vote yes or no to removing the “women in the home” clause from the Constitution and replacing it with a new article on family care.

People Before Profit support deleting the sexist “women in the home” clause. But we are outraged by the government’s continued refusal to support care or defend the rights of people with disabilities.

We are calling on the Government to make real commitments now to change this. Between now and the 8th of March, the Government must commit to providing the resources needed to guarantee the right to care for all. It must ratify the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It must abolish the means test for family carers, pay creres a living wage and provide them with respite. It must raise wages and working conditions for care workers.

Ireland is a wealthy country with a massive budget surplus. The Government could start providing free public childcare, free homecare and comprehensive supports for carers and people with disabilities tomorrow if it wanted to. But it doesn’t.

Instead, it is asking us to replace sexist wording from the Constitution that places the responsibility for care on women but gives them no meaningful rights to state support with less sexist wording that places the responsibility for care on the family but still provides no meaningful rights to state support.

People Before Profit believes a yes vote is marginally preferable in these circumstances –

mainly because the far right and the Catholic Church would claim a no vote as a victory for their sexist, conservative views and say that we voted to keep women in the home in the Constitution.

Regardless of the outcome, we are committed to demanding a new referendum that will insert a real right to care into the Constitution and guarantee the rights of people with disabilities. And we will continue to fight the government every day for the resources that are needed.