Ireland Rejects Effort to Redefine Family and Motherhood

Ireland Rejects Effort to Redefine Family and Motherhood

Voters in Ireland have resoundingly rejected two constitutional amendments that attempted to redefine traditional definitions of family and motherhood.

More than 1.5 million Irish voters cast ballots March 9 with 67% rejecting the proposed Family Amendment and 74% defeating the Care Amendment.

The Christian Institute’s (TCI) Ciarán Kelly welcomed the result, calling it “a resounding affirmation of marriage and motherhood.” TCI is a nondenominational charity in the United Kingdom that advocates for a Biblical worldview in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

The Family Amendment would have altered the Irish Constitution’s definition of the family. Currently, the constitution “recognises the Family as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of Society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law,” and declares that the family “is founded” upon marriage. The Family Amendment aimed to change the constitution to redefine the family as “founded on marriage or on other durable relationships” and would have struck from the constitution the clarification that family “is founded” upon marriage.

The Care Amendment proposed that two phrases from the constitution regarding women and mothers be replaced with one gender-neutral sentence, thus removing any reference to women or motherhood. The Irish Constitution currently states that, “by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved” and pledges “to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home.” Those declarations would have been replaced with the statement, “The State recognises that the provision of care, by members of a family to one another by reason of the bonds that exist among them, gives to Society a support without which the common good cannot be achieved, and shall strive to support such provision.”

The Irish Times noted that the proposed constitutional changes were rejected by “the highest percentage of No votes in any referendum in Irish history.” Out of Ireland’s 39 constituencies, only one voted “yes,” by a margin of only 255 votes.

Even though the proposed constitutional changes had the support of the majority of Ireland’s politicians and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), a number of organizations campaigned for “NoNo” votes. 

The pro-life, pro-family Irish Freedom Party had urged rejecting the proposals and celebrated Saturday’s resounding “no,” writing on social media, “The referendum results reveal a huge disconnect between the people of Ireland and the political establishment. They seem to live on a different planet to normal people.” The conservative political party added, “This NoNo Vote is just the beginning of a Nationalist comeback. It’s a clear statement that we’ve had enough of weirdo Transsexual indoctrination of our kids, mass immigration into our country, and Uniparty instruction. We will not have mothers and sex-based rights removed from our Constitution.”

Ireland, with a population of 5.3 million, opted to end constitutional limits on same-sex marriage in 2015 and abortion in 2018.

Photo: Alejandro Luengo /

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