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UK News

Poll puts Ireland on course to vote for gay marriage

by Desmond Busteed

Only a slim majority (53%) now say they intend to vote Yes in the marriage referendum on Friday, 24% of the electorate are planning to say No, while 23% remain undecided, according to a Millward Brown poll for the Sunday Independent.

However, the poll finds the Yes side is still on course for victory, but the number of undecided voters is on the increase as polling day approaches.

A Yes vote would make Ireland the world's first country to approve same-sex marriage in a popular ballot.

According to the poll, those most opposed to same-sex marriage are older: a majority (57%) of those aged 65 and over are now against the proposed amendment.

Meanwhile, Roman Catholic bishops have urged their congregations to vote and to be guided by church teaching on Friday by voting No.

In pastoral Statement on the marriage equality referendum Bishop Kevin Doran, bishop of Elphin, said: "Every citizen and long-term resident has a vested interest in how society defines and protects marriage and the family founded on marriage".

He said those who had a right to vote had a responsibility to use it for the common good and nobody else could exercise that responsibility.

The government backs a yes vote, as do all the significant political parties, the major media organisations, unions and business groups.

The yes campaign has also won support from sports stars and even some renegade clergy.

In January, a Dublin priest announced during a Saturday night mass that he supported the referendum and that he is gay. His congregants gave him a standing ovation.

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