Citizens to Separate Church and State (CSCS) wrote to our government (cabinet) on 24 February pleading with it to drop the proposed 35th Amendment to our constitution until the religious oath required by Article 12.8 for installation of the President was amended or dropped.
At that stage the Bill to move the 35th Amendment (age for president) had not been introduced into the Oireachtas.
The government ignored our pleading and the Bill was subsequently moved and passed.
CSCS has issued a short (7 min) video documentary setting out why it is calling for a ‘No’ vote in the Presidential age referendum.
It is CSCS’s view that the government’s 35th amendment is ill-judged and ill–timed because it has failed to deal first with the issue regarding the religious oath that has to be sworn by the president-elect (Article 12.8).
CSCS is struck by the fact that posters produced by the proponents calling for a ‘Yes’ vote in the 34th Amendment (marriage equality) campaign emphasise the ‘Equality’ aspects of this worthy cause but there has been a marked ‘blindness to equality’ in relation to the import of Art. 12.8 in its connection to the 35th amendment proposal.
We are urging citizens genuinely commited to equality for all to vote No and we ask you to consider the contradiction between the two referendums
I find it incredible that out government is on the one hand advocating “equal rights” in the marriage referendum and on the other promoting an extension of religious discrimination in the presidential age referendum.
The religous oath required of presidents (and judges) is being extended to a new generation who might aspire to high office.
This is so clearly a violation of equal rights that it is hard to see how anyone could propose both at the same time.
The formal letters we sent to (1) all cabinet members, (2) Oireachtas members and political parties and (3) various faith bodies back in February when CSCS was formed were an attempt to have the Presidential Age Referendum (35th Amendment; #AgeRef) dropped until the human rights abnegation contained in Article 12.8 was remedied.
At that stage the Bill moving the Age Referendum had not been introduced into the Oireachtas so it could have been pulled by the government. Remember that this amendment was not even in the Programme for government.
Needless to say we have received not a single reply from any government minister, Oireachtas member or faith body to our plea. Total silence.
Omerta rules! Ireland continues to make much about human rights issues abroad but is blinded by the motes in its own eyes.
The celebration of the centenary of Proclamation of the Republic takes place next year. A strange place.
Is it just me, or do the rest of your readers also find it incredible that the Government is, on the one hand, advocating ‘equal rights’ in the marriage referendum, and on the other, promoting religious discrimination in the Presidential-age referendum?
The religious oath required of Presidents (and judges) is being extended to a new generation who might aspire to high office.
This is so clearly a violation of ‘equal rights’ that it is hard to see how anyone could propose both at the same time, let alone vote for both.
Unless, maybe, the left hand won’t know what the right is doing?
Press release for immediate use from Citizens to Separate Church and State (CSCS) opposing the 35th amendment (AgeRef)
CSCS has issued a short (7 min) video documentary setting out why it is calling for a ‘No’ vote in the Presidential age referendum (35th amendment).
The government’s 35th amendment is ill-judged and –timed because it has failed to deal with the issue regarding the religious oath that has to be sworn by the president-elect (Article 12.8).
We had this Letter to Editor published in Irish Times today.
Sir, – I find it disturbing that the Government is proceeding with the “forgotten referendum” in the full knowledge that the Constitution Review Group (Whitaker, 1995), the All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution (1998) and the UN Human Rights Committee (Report on Ireland, August 2014) have recommended strongly that the religious oath that is required of the president-elect at installation in St Patrick’s Hall in Dublin Castle be amended by the uttering of a parallel “affirmation” as the candidate may choose.
The precise wording of the oath is set down in Article 12.8 of the Constitution. The wording of this oath can only be varied by a referendum. There is no substitute at present.
A Yes vote in the 35th amendment referendum will extend the stated religious oath obligation to approximately an additional 100,000 citizens in the 21-35 age range.
We know from surveys that young people are less religious, for want of a better word, so why are we perpetuating the dissimulation and hypocrisy that goes with the uttering of this oath?
I am voting No in this referendum and I call on citizens to follow suit to show the Government that they are putting the wrong amendment to the people. Amend Article 12.8 first. – Yours, etc,
Here’s why we are calling for a ‘No’ vote in the 35th Amendment to the Constitution referendum – the ‘forgotten referendum’.
Please take 5 min to watch this documentary video setting out our concerns at the way the government has ignored the human rights ‘equality’ issue in advancing the 35th amendment without first dealing with the human rights abnegation in Article 12.8 with its requirement for a religious oath on becoming President of Ireland.
Where is its concern for equality for all citizens?