Blasphemy referendum approved for later this year

Remigio Civitarese
Giugno 13, 2018

It could be held on the same day as an election for the office of president, and alongside another referendum to remove the part of the Constitution that refers to the woman's place in the home. Proposals in 2014 to hold a referendum on the matter didn't materialise.

"In terms of Ireland's global reputation, this is an important step", Flanagan said on Tuesday.

"By removing this provision from our constitution, we can send a strong message to the world that laws against blasphemy do not reflect Irish values and that we do not believe such laws should exist".

The last known prosecution in Ireland related to blasphemy was thought to be in 1855, said Enda Kenny, the previous taoiseach, or Ireland's prime minister and head of government. However, in 2015, Irish authorities launched an investigation under blasphemy laws into British actor and comedian Stephen Fry.

Ironically, the man who made the report said he had not personally been offended by Mr Fry's remarks.

Ireland's current legislation makes it illegal to say or publish anything that is "grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters sacred by any religion".

In Ireland, blasphemy against Christianity is prohibited by the constitution and carries a maximum fine of €25,000.

The decision to hold the referendum on blasphemy is part of a wider number of referenda the Government has committed to holding over the coming period.

After the blasphemy referendum, a vote on a controversial reference in the constitution to a "woman's life within the home" is likely.

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