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Referendum 24 May 2019: remove 4 years apart limit for Divorce from Article 41 of the Constitution

Vote YES so you don’t have to live 4 of the last 5 years apart to qualify for a divorce
and to let the Dáil and Senate legislate on foreign divorces

The Mid-West Humanists have favoured a Secular society and laws that uphold Human Rights from soon after we first met in 2008.

We have campaigned, and attended the Constitutional Convention in 2013, on other parts of the Constitution that have explicit biases towards religion and biases against people with no religion and people whose religions have fewer adherents. We and other non-religious organisations have secured the 2018 referendum to remove Blasphemy as an offence from Article 40 of Ireland’s constitution. We were the only set of people campaigning in public in the Mid-West region for people to vote Yes in October 2018.

The Mid-West Humanists now draw people’s attention to removing the minimum time apart to qualify for a divorce and to removing the restriction on the Oireachtas’ choice in recognising foreign divorces.

 

The Referendum is on Friday 24 May 2019!

The 38th Amendment to the Constitution (Dissolution of Marriage) Bill 2019 proposes to remove Article 41.3.2.i.
This subordinate clause of 34 words sets a minimum of 4 years living apart (in the last 5 years) before you can be divorced.
If a majority vote YES, the Constitution will no longer set a minimum time. The Minister for Justice has said he will set a minimum of 2 years apart in a new Bill in the Dáil and Senate.

Although you may think the 2 years apart is still an unreasonable requirement, it will only be in legislation. A vote in the Dáil and Senate could reduce or abolish it at any future time. But it will not need a referendum.

The 38th Amendment to the Constitution (Dissolution of Marriage) Bill 2019 also proposes to replace Article 41.3.3.
This sentence of 65 words sets a high bar to the recognition of a foreign divorce here in Ireland – perhaps its precise limitation is not clear.
If a majority vote YES, the Constitution will no longer set any rules on recognition. Such recognition would be by a Bill in the Dáil and Senate.

The Mid-West Humanists support every person who favours a secular society and state, and who favours freedom of association (to be able to more easily end your tie to a person to whom you have been married), to vote YES in the Referendum on Friday 24 May 2019.
It is on the same day as the election for City and County Councils and for the European Parliament.

We ask any person who thinks it almost sure to receive a majority YES to make sure that you yourself vote. If a large number who favour removing the 4 years that you must be apart do not cast their vote, the majority could be a NO. Please go to the polling station on 24 May 2019 and vote YES.

If you want the referendum to pass, it needs your vote as well as all the other YES votes.

 

Go to vote on Friday 24 May and vote YES!

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Mid-West Humanists say YES to Marriage Equality

On Friday 22 May 2015 is the Referendum on Marriage irrespective of gender.

Vote YES to Marriage Equality

Humanism means that people compose their own moral rules, and choose which rules to adopt. This means choosing rules by reason, and not by supposed revelation from a god.

There is no sensible reason that the State should not register and recognise every person’s partnership in life, whether the partner is of the other sex or the same sex as the first person. The idea that only a person of the other sex can be a marriage partner gets its largest and least rational support from sources that some people believe came from a god.

So the Mid-West Humanists say Vote YES to Marriage Equality on Friday 22 May 2015.

Mid-West Humanists say YES

Mid-West Humanists say YES

If you think the Referendum should be passed, then just as you are responsible for choosing moral rules, you have equal responsibility to each of the other 3 million voters. So go out on Friday and vote. If you want it to pass, but you don’t vote and it is defeated, you as well as any others who don’t vote will be responsible.

Please, if you want it to pass, go out and vote.

Secular weddings and the Humanist Association of Ireland

Marcus Brooks and Joni Spence commented on the report of the 19 June meeting discussion on the HAI EGM and the problem with their Celebrants being made state Solemnisers. Many visitors to our website would like to understand what this is about.

The criticism of the Humanist Association of Ireland (HAI) for accepting its Celebrants being legal Solemnisers of state marriages, under the Civil Registration Amendment Act 2012, is not that the HAI should not provide marriage and civil partnership ceremonies that are also the legal bond, but that accepting this generally admirable plan under this particular law will inhibit the HAI from secular campaigning. And Ireland needs a national body that will campaign vigorously (not weakly) for a secular state and a secular society.

Mid West Humanists’  views on secular marriages

People who have come to the Mid West Humanists’  (MWH) meetings have talked of secular marriage ceremonies many times. The commonest view has been about people who want a marriage, wanting to have the ceremony free of any religious matter. I think people who spoke also wanted not to be involved in the hypocrisy of using a church organisation for their wedding when they do not believe in a god, and have not and will not be attending the church for years before and after the marriage. People also wanted not to show hypocrisy by marrying in a church when they say to their relatives and friends that they have no religion. Some people who have come to MWH meetings have talked of the difficulty in getting people to believe that you do not have a religion.

In 2011 several meetings discussed whether we could do something to have the HSE improve the decor of the Registry Office in St Camillus’ Hospital Limerick, to a standard that two people and their few guests would feel good enough for the ceremony of a major new stage of their lives. We didn’t get around to doing anything.

New attenders and visitors to the website often ask how to contact a humanist celebrant, and we always give a contact for the Celebrants of the Humanist Association of Ireland. There is a link to this in the left sidebar.

I’ve never heard anyone speak in favour of having two procedures or events: but I can see a person wanting to have the legal start of his or her marriage being like any other formal signing of a contract, and thus being free to have the party run in any way they like – this person might want to have two events.

Humanist Association of Ireland and Marriages

The question within the Humanist Association of Ireland is not about the State registering marriages with the officiant or solemniser having no connection to a religion. Up to 2012 the only non-religious officiants have been the State’s registrars. Many Mid West Humanists (and others) were happy with this, and the limits were about the poor decor in the Limerick office (and elsewhere, I would suspect), and how the Registrar worked only on weekdays and it was quite hard to get the Registrar to officiate at places outside the Office. Many other people wanted the type of ceremony that the Humanist Celebrants organise, and saw no good reason to have to go to the Registry Office as well.

The people within the Humanist Association of Ireland (HAI), and people who attend the Mid West Humanists, who see difficulty with the HAI and the Civil Registration Amendment Act 2012 (CRAA), have never spoken against pairs of people (who plan to marry or be civil partners) getting to have only one ceremony and it having no religious content. All the critics of the HAI’s stance see this aim as entirely reasonable.

Continue reading

HAI’s EGM on 26 June 2013 – discussed at Mid West Humanists meeting 19 June 2013

The Mid West Humanists meeting on Wednesday 19 June 2013 discussed the forthcoming

Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the Humanist Association of Ireland (HAI)

which is to be on

Wednesday 26 June 2013 at 19:00 in

Gandon Suite

O’Callaghan Davenport Hotel

Merrion Square

Dublin 2.

This meeting will be open only to members of the HAI.

The EGM is to do with HAI Celebrants being made State legal Solemnisers of marriages, and how that might inhibit the HAI from campaigning for political changes moving towards a secular society.

The HAI (founded 1993) has about 500 members in the Republic of Ireland and it enables humanists to meet and support each other, campaigns for state institutions to be secular (particularly including schools being fair to children with religion and without religion), and accredits celebrants so that people can have marriages, funerals, and naming their babies without any religious content to the ceremonies; and has further related aims and activities.

The HAI is a company limited by guarantee and so is subject to the Companies Acts.

The HAI has aims generally similar to the Mid West Humanists (MWH). The MWH benefit from the HAI giving notice about our meetings in their 2-monthly magazine, and a link on their website, and on occasion the HAI have sent someone to speak to the MWH. While there are not very close links between the two, people who attend the MWH know that there is a national humanist organisation that will help with major issues. The MWH website has links both to the HAI generally and to their Celebrants.

At the meeting on 19 June 2013 exactly half the attenders were members of HAI and the other half were not. Because HAI is a national organisation and because many new attenders at MWH meetings and new visitors to the website ask about humanist ceremonies (particularly marriages), even though less than half our attenders generally are members of HAI, the problems to be discussed at their Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) are of substantial interest to most Mid West humanists.

Problems leading to the EGM

Andrew Devine-Rattigan who is a member of HAI asked all HAI members to support a call for this EGM in April 2013, and at least 10% of members agreed, and that is sufficient to make the EGM happen.

Andrew wrote about the following problem. Continue reading

Atheist Experience no. 565: The Threat of Equality

The Atheist Experience is a weekly cable access television show in Austin, Texas geared at a non-atheist audience.

The Atheist Experience is produced by the Atheist Community of Austin.