Ireland will let voters in mid-2015 decide whether to legalize gay marriage.

The republic's government announced the decision to move ahead with a national vote on Tuesday. The referendum will be held as a part of a special “constitution day,” according to UK's The Guardian.

Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore, leader of the Irish Labour Party, had been lobbying for the referendum.

Gilmore said it would be “important to win this referendum.”

Brendan Howlin, the minister for public expenditure and reform, said: “The Irish people in opinion polls had indicated their support for this issue and should be given the opportunity when practicable to express their views.”

A government poll released last year found overwhelming support (73%) for a constitutional amendment allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.

The Guardian reported that the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has not announced whether it plans to work against passage of the marriage measure.