Dublin to see annual march for marriage today

Advocates of same-sex marriage will take to the streets of Dublin today.

Thousands are expected to turn out for the annual "march for marriage" later as it winds its way from City Hall to the Department of Justice at 3pm.

The Government has agreed to hold a referendum on civil-marriage for same-sex couples in the first half of 2015.

However, the proposal has encountered strenuous opposition from groups, including the Catholic IONA Institute.

The Institute's submission to last year's Constitutional Convention says "the marriage of a man and a woman is uniquely pro-child" and argues that it is not discriminatory to give it "unique treatment".

They also claim that "the rights of gay people can easily be secured without changing the definition of marriage".

Today's rally is being organised by the LGBT group Noise and their spokesperson Max Krzyzanowski rubbished the notion that marriage equality will damage society.

He said: "We're certainly not the pioneers in this, there are other countries that have had marriage equality for approaching 15 years now and nobody's heterosexual marriage has fallen apart in those countries.

"None of the negative consequences that were feared and worried about have come to pass and we are merely following the path of countries that took the brave decision to go early on this."

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