Ireland Rejects Eliminating Motherhood And Family From Constitution

Ireland voters have rejected two constitutional amendments that would have removed wording supporting motherhood and the traditional family. Proponents of the change claim the current language is outdated and preserves the “patriarchy” and its regressive ideology into law.

The sections of the Irish constitution in question are these:

“the State recognises that by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved,” and that “[t]he State shall, therefore, endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home.”

The amendments had been pushed heavily by Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadka, who viewed them as enshrining gender equality in the constitution. All major Irish political parties supported the change as well, including the main opposition party Sinn Fein.

The ballot question was rushed through Parliament with minimal debate and virtually no committee scrutiny.

Polls suggested a large segment of the population was undecided on both questions right up until the day of the vote, which was held on International Women’s Day. The consensus was that opposition to the amendments was mostly due to two factors. First, many did not fully understand the wording. Second, voters cited that they feared unintended consequences of the changes.

Some senior lawmakers also pointed out that the changed wording could be used to justify the rights of migrants to bring their relatives into the country using “family reunification” as a pretext.

The sound rejection of both questions — by a 70% margin in both cases — is viewed as a repudiation of Varadka’s government. The results represent the largest margin of defeat for a constitutional amendment in Ireland’s history.

Speaking after the vote was decided, Varadka said: “It was our responsibility to convince the majority of people to vote ‘yes,’ and we clearly failed to do so.”

The vote also represents a speed bump on Ireland’s decades-long journey to a progressive, liberal and secular culture. Ireland was 95% Roman Catholic in 1961 but only 69% in 2022. National referendums legalized divorce in 1995, same-gender marriage in 2015 and abortion in 2018.

However, the average Irish citizen has likely had enough of “woke” politics. Europe has seen mass immigration and globalism erode cultures and traditions, and perhaps the Irish people saw fit to preserve what’s left of their values.