Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan has called on the people to vote yes to remove the crime of blasphemy from our Constitution next week.
The Fine Gael Minister said blasphemy has no place in the modern Constitution of a democratic society.
“In our 2016 General Election Manifesto, as part of a package of constitutional reforms, Fine Gael promised that in Government we would hold a referendum proposing to remove the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution,” Minister Flanagan said.
“We are doing that now. The referendum will take place on Friday, 26 October, the same day as the Presidential election,” Minister Flanagan said.
“Fine Gael wants the crime of blasphemy removed from our Constitution. It is time for this to be changed with a ‘Yes’ vote.
“We believe that freedom of belief and expression are important values in a democratic society. Criminalising blasphemy is not consistent with these values.
“Ireland is a country that respects religious diversity and religious freedom at home and around the world. We speak out when countries sentence ‘blasphemers’ to death, violent punishment or imprisonment.
“Our voice will be stronger if we remove blasphemy from our Constitution. Blasphemy has no place in the modern Constitution of a democratic society.
“Recent polls show there is no room for complacency and every vote will be important.
“My message to anyone who believes the crime of blasphemy doesn’t belong in our Constitution is please vote. Don’t assume others will get this referendum proposal passed for you.
“Have your voice heard on October 26th and vote ‘Yes’ vote yes to remove blasphemy from our Constitution,” Minister Flanagan concluded.