“Homosexuality was only decriminalised in the Republic of Ireland in 1993, but since then the country has embraced gay rights”Don’t be fooled by this charlatan, his own party shot down the last civil partnership bill in our Dail (the Irish Parliament). While Ireland is a progressive country in the mindset of its people, our laws have not yet caught up with the enlightened policies of our cousins in the UK:- religious institutions can still discriminate against gays in schools, life insurance can still be denied (or very heavily loaded) by Insurance Firms, solely on the basis that you’re gay and therefore “have an AIDS risk”, and no protection for gay families. Bear in mind homosexuality was only decriminalised in the Republic after an Irish gay senator took the Irish government to the EU courts for inequality. It wasn’t the act of compassion Bertie’s party tries to make us to believe it was.As someone once said, you have same-sex civil partnerships in Ian Paisley’s Belfast, but nothing even close to that in the supposed cosmopolitan capital of the republic.Bertie Ahern does a lot of talking, but very little else in the area of gay rights.
Last year Mr Ahern explained his views on homosexuality and said he wanted to attract more gay candidates to his Fianna Fail party.”Our sexual orientation is not an incidental attribute. It is an essential part of who we are. All citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, stand equal in the eyes of our laws,” he said. “Sexual orientation cannot, and must not, be the basis of a second-class citizenship. Our laws have changed, and will continue to change, to reflect this principle.”What on earth is Ahern talking about? Civil Partnerships are about equality? Absolute nonsense. If they were, they would be called marriage, fair and simple. Indeed, they’re NOT, never will be! We have much more fighting to do before we truly achieve our equality and Civil Partnerships are nothing more than state sanctioned discrimination of second-class citizenship. We must never surrender ourselves to that, ever! We are still less than “them”, the straights.Robert, ex-pat Brit, USA.
Do Labour, SF and the others have enough votes to pass this?
This website is acting more and more like a soundbite for the Irish govt. Lets get one thing straight, the Irish Govt are not enacting legislation for same sex couples, they are talking about bringing in legislation which will cover taxation and inheritence rights for cohabitating couples, including siblings, cousins, friends, anyone who lives together. It will be nothing like marriage. Also, where did Ahern say he wanted to attract more gay candidates, he never said this, and your article doesn’t quote him saying this either. Fianna Fáil is an extremely socially conservative party, maybe not quite as bad as the Law and Justice Party or League of Polish Families whom they sit with on Union for Europe of the Nations in the European Parliment, but the thoughts of them every giving equality to gay couples in decades away.Your website, really needs to publish more on the movement to gain gay equality in Ireland and the voting down of the recent Civil Union Bill by FF and the Greens
I really can not believe that the Irish Goverment are still so narrow minded when it comes to Gay people that is why I left Ireland 20 years ago to live in the uk because of its narrow minded ideas . It makes me ashmed to think I still hold an Irish Pass port , who in their right minds would vote for a Goverment like this .
Robert, just read you again on this thread….you may consider yourself a 2nd class citizen, you may be because you can’t “marry” in a church that you are less than “them”…but most of us on this side of the atlantic don’t..that’s why as far as i can see most of the irish contributers ARE hoping for British style “civil partnerships” in Ireland, as oppossed to the wishy-washy insulting French style PACS…personally i think to press for “marriage” and use that word in Ireland where the catholic church and it’s bigotted priesthood still hold some power would be likely to ruin any chance of getting meaningful legislation through…You constantly criticise civil partnerships but seem to forget that the legislation was passed in the UK with no real political/press or public opposition…to push for “marriage” particularly in Ireland would bring all 3 of those forces to bear….I think that’s probably why most americans have nothing and no rights in this area because of there obsession with the word “marriage” that just brings the homophobes out if force..BTW if i’m wrong and most of the Irish contributors want “marriage” as oppossed to full UK style “civil partnerships” in their country i will stand corrected
A very accurate synopsis in my view Andy
I’d like to comment on the gay USA movement to fight for gay marriage. The fact that in US, “seperate” has never meant “equal”. This was attempted during the era of segregation where the courts ruled that services could be provided seperately for whites and blacks, but in practice it didn’t happen this way and the court later abolished segregation. Personally, I would be fine if they wrote a law that said gay people could be granted civil partnerships and those would be legally equal to marriage (i.e. the two terms were legally equivalent), but I don’t think that would be much less controversial.
The problem with the word “marriage” is that it’s such an emotionally loaded one which strongly polarises opinion and, actually, places a veil over the really important protections that legal same-sex unions offer.I try not to voice opinions as to the state of gay rights in the USA, because being British makes it none of my business. However, I would venture to suggest that in the pursuit of gay marriage, as opposed to civil partnerships, the real protections offered to same sex couples is drowned out in the debate. Hence American gay couples are left with no protection and no rights in the event of death of a partner, or serious illness, or even powers of attorney.
Andy, I am an atheist too and have absolutely no desire to have a “marriage” in a church, syngaogue, mosque or any other religious edifice.None of the five countries where full marriage is offered to same sex couples permit religious ceremonies thus far, only the civil ceremony.Further, I’m not denigrating or putting anyone down because they have no other choice but to enter into a civil partnership to gain rights, personally, its not mine. Someone from Stonewall once told me that it is quite conceivable that the government could easily merge civil partnerships into the marriage causation act of 1973 thereby recognising them as marriages. What if that were to happen, would you and all the other anti-marriage couples reject it because you don’t like the term “marriage”?
David, here in the U.S. one state thus far, Massachusetts, permits marriage for same-sex couples; California passed marriage equality twice but it was vetoed by Governor Arnold Scwharzenegger but currently offers domestic partnerships for both straight and gay couples. New Jersey was ordered to provide same-sex couples all the rights and privileges of marriage without the name in the form of civil unions, but such unions are now being mulled for an upgrade to full marriage recognition.Elsewhere in other states gay couples who are in domestic partnerships (in existence long before civil unions and partnerships) offer many rights and privileges including power of attorney, inheritance rights.Here in New York state where I live, the governor of the state, Eliot Spitzer has personally drafted full marriage equality legislation which will be put to the legislature for a vote in 2009. If the state assembly and senate are heavily democratic by then and that could well happen, legislation will be approved.Right now, living in New York City, I’m entitled to a domestic partnership and of course, I can also go to Canada and get married. My marriage to my partner would be recognised in New York State, thanks to Governor Spitzer’s progressive policies. What I find appalling is that British couples who marry in Canada or in the other four countries where it is legal, have their marriages downgraded once they return to the UK. I find that quite offensive and insulting and a slap in the face to the Canadian legal system, a commonwealth member. It should do what New York State has done, recognise them. If straight British couples don’t want to marry, they should also be given the option to enter into a civil partnership if in fact they are equal as most say they are.You have every right to discuss and comment on these issues as does everyone else even if you’re not living here. That’s what democracy and freedom of expression is all about, even if we don’t agree.
Honestly…all I care about is whatever legislation is enacted..that I would gain legal right to remain in Ireland with my Irish partner…as of now I don’t. Since I am from the US, she has no right to come HERE either…any word about THAT in the upcoming legislation?
David, “I try not to voice opinions as to the state of gay rights in the USA, because being British makes it none of my business.” Robert was exactly right when he said that you have an absolute right to comment, ask questions, disagree and state your own beliefs. Our movement is fundamentally international. In many respects we have more in common with one another than we have with our countrymen. The situation is the US is complicated by the fact that in 1996 the Democrats, led by Bill and Hillary Clinton boxed us into a corner when they and the Republicans overwhelmingly passed the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA. DOMA is a bigots dream and we haven’t seen anything like it here since the discriminatory laws against African Americans were passed. Both parties tried to use DOMA against the other but the Republicans are past masters of the political use of bigotry to divide and rule. The Democrats plan boomeranged against them. The Republicans went to pass DOMA’s in 36 states as well as strengthening the Federal version. DOMA will have to be repealed in those state legislatures and by the Federal Congress before samesex marriage becomes the law of the land. There is no guarantee the courts will take our side.