What the Irish Govt is bringing in is not civil unions, its a watered down version of the Labour Bill which was supported across the opposition. This bill allows a brother and sister, two neighbours, two strangers register a relationship of any sort to gain tax breaks and inheritance rights. Gays are going to be more discriminated against than ever, the bill also sets up a third party agency who will register such relationships and its a million miles from what is available in the UK. The Green party supported a similar Labour Bill last March, now that they are in Govt they have completely sold out the gay community by voting against the Labour bill. Socially conversative Ireland lives on.
I wouldn’t be so *ahem* optimistic, Colin – no-one actually knows what the Gov’t is going to do, because they have no proposals on the table, no details, nothing but a vague undertaking to legislate before the next election – ie sometime in the next 5 years.This, despite the same promise being made half-way through the last government, and despite high-level report after high-level report setting out what needed to be done to address even some of the inequalities faced by gay couples.What is almost certain from Fianna Fáil rhetoric, though, is that gay couples will be pawned off with some limited ‘registry’ that will equate us with bachelor brothers, spinster sisters, straights who couldn’t be arsed getting married, and probably flatmates who ‘care’ about each other.I’ll reserve judgement on the Greens until I see the Heads in March, but I can’t imagine I’ll ever be voting for them again.
it does seem a bit weak compared to CPs in the UK.
At least it will allow for an Union to be established. Just hope that Ireland does not like the Uk exclude “certain groups” of individuals living in the country to form a Cival Partnership. I am having this problem in England ( see my article Comment: Stop deporting gay refugees back to Iran) click here for the full article
I am currently married ( under Canadian Law – and YES – MARRIED!) to an Irish National of the same sex! When I moved to Ireland in September 2007 on the heels of comments made by government officials I found out the hard way what lack of recognition can do to a relationship! The stress and strain of having no legal recognition; of not being able to work because I was a mere ‘tourist’ and mere ‘guest’ in my husbands home and in his country proved way too much for US. I returned home to the civility of Canada vis-a-vis gay equality! The Gov’t of IRELAND! HA! What a joke – gay rights indeed!!! I was willing to work and be a good citizen of Ireland, but the legal right to stay was hindered by my marriage and not helped by it! Archaic laws still suppress gays in Ireland and the Catholic church has far to much sway! The constitution really is stuck in the permafrost of 1937 and wrapped in a Pope’s cloak! Why my husband would not move back to Canada with me is still beyond me – I know he loves his country but… I could not live in a place where I was an outcast and a second class citizen. Civil Unions are for the weak – those MP’s who are afraid of going to Hell (I say don’t worry too much about it – there is no Hell – Hail Zeus!! ).Tax paying gays and lesbians deserve more than Catholic pontifications and fear mongering!!!!! G-D KNOWS THEY’VE EARNED IT! In Ireland EVERYTHING seems so pained…well,Canada had detractors too when it came to Same Sex Marriage – but here we are – we have it and the country didn’t fall apart! I suspect the same would happen to Ireland given the nature and beauty of her people, in spite of her government- it will keep on keeping on! Sign the damn papers, give US our RIGHTS and keep the ‘daily bread’! We are HUMAN and this is a HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE!! If the Pope issued an edict to treat Jews poorly would Ireland do it on fear of going to Hell? I THINK NOT! So I say to the Irish Gov’t ‘piss off’ and to the Irish people ‘STAND UP! and start treating gays and lesbians with respect!! Too the PM I say don’t worry, you won’t go to Hell for legalizing gay marriage (There is no Hell remember?! And if there is one -I suspect you’re in the elevator going down already for building glass structures on rented property – signing might slow it down a bit…) Am I angry – a little, but nothing compares to the sadness I feel over having to fight so damn hard to pull gays and lesbians up in spite of G-d and the threat of Hell in an afterlife for basic human rights! A chain is only as strong as its weakest link…and Ireland’s weakest links are all those Pope kissing TD’s who prance around in parks in Dublin at night giving favours to boys in trouble because of years of systemic, institutionalized abuse because they were born gay or worse – gay and poor – and who then go home to a loving family unit in the wee hours of the morning! WEAK! Come out of the damn closet, sign the papers into law – make gay marriage a reality in Ireland and then get to work on correcting the hatred you helped maintain. Feed and house those poor boys in parks at night – don’t suck them off before returning to your gov’t office!
Oh Canada! Shawn, I couldn’t have said it better myself. You have every right to be proud of your wonderful country and I enjoin you on that. It was a bold and courageous step for your former prime minister to take and I applaud him, a hero indeed. Your country has defined the meaning of equality, no two tier class system based on who we sleep with as we have in the UK. Your country has demonstrated the importance of what it means to be truly equal without exception. Bravo!
Er, Shawn, we appreciate your dilemma, but having a bitch-rant against the “puritan catholic” Irish isn’t doing you any favours. What a load of nonsense. While Irish law hasn’t caught up with the rest of the EU on gay partnerships, contrary to your little attack Ireland, we actually had one of the first equal status acts back in to delver protection to gays people, among other protection laws. Also, form my own experience, Irish people are among the most tolerant I have ever met. While we have some way to go, and what country doesn’t, Ireland is not the backward little catholic country you mention in your hissy fit. We are much more progressive a society when compared to the influential evangelicals of Canada. And for your reference, our constitution can only be changed by the will of the people, as a constitution should be… not by the whims of what ever government comes into power, or the histrionics of one little immigrant who can’t get a visa. I’m sorry you had visa troubles, but there’s no need to have a racist Paris Hilton styled tantrum at all Irish people because of it. You’d have had the same visa problem if you married many other nationalities of the EU.Maybe if you opened your eyes while you were in Ireland you would understand why your husband likes the place so much. There’s more to gay acceptance in society than a bunch of law changes that will happen in time anyway.You lost what would have been a valid argument in your infantile tantrum there.
William: I did say that given the “nature and beauty of the Irish people…that I was surprised by the Irish gov’t”!!! The Irish people are a tolerant group and a wonderful group….my ‘rant’ ( which clearly it was) was not against them it was against the government. The Government may well be elected by the people but clearly they do not listen to the people once in office,and the people have become a nussance to them in some ways. Much like our government does not listen to us regarding environmental issues.And yes I picked on Catholics but I would pick on any religious group for upholding such policies.As for not getting a visa – that was the least of my concerns – I could have gotten one using other means without using my marriage…and that just made me sad! So forgive my rant and do not think that I think less of the Irish people because I do not!!!!! I met wonderful Irish men and women while ‘visiting’ – some of whom I will remember ’til my dying day! I know full well that my experience would have been the same in many EU countries who do not have same-sex unions as it was in Ireland, but mine happened to be in Ireland….and then to read this article about a watered down policy to appease me! AARGH! I don’t want to be ‘appeased’ – I WANT EQUAL RIGHTS AS A HUMAN BEING!
Shawn, it’s ok to ignore ‘William Of Dublin’. WOD is an odd sort of ‘pretend’ Irishman who’s only happy when defending gaybashing bigots like those in Paisley’s DUP, various christian cults or English Conservative Party. He pompously claims that samesex marriage should be denied everyone because he’s afraid of being identified as gay on a marriage certificate. He pigheadedly prefers the closeted obscurity of whatever form of civil union, however weak, he can get by bending his knee and begging Paisley or Ahern. If you continue to post on this blog you’ll find that WOD lacks even a semblance of understanding of the struggles of GLBT folk in Ireland or the broader struggle for Irish independence. And that WOD has a pathological need to engage in temper tantrums, create straw men and joust with them. While he’s fantasizing about crushing the militantly irreligious GLBT radicals the rest of us just laugh at him. There’s probably a simple explanation like WOD forgetting to take his anti-dementia meds on schedule. Ireland, like all priest infested countries has a long way to go, and changing the constitution will make it even harder. Polling shows the for and against equation regarding samesex marriage slowly moving our way. As they gain strength a coalition of Labour, Sinn Féin and others will someday trounce the gay bashers in the FF/FG/catholic coalition and their cousins in the protestant/Paisleyite coalition.
Bill, you’re an idiot. William merely defends his country from your strange obsessions. The only person I laugh at here is you.
Anonymous, thank you for that.And Bill, why not go easy on the Ritalin today, and make a concerted effort to (1) learn to read (2) learn to write… most Fisher-Price toys, ages 3 to 5, can assist here and (3) go out and get yourself a passport.At least then you might be able to save up your social welfare payments to get a cheap flight to Europe, and maybe you will see the foolishness your ridiculous statements. You, Bill, are nothing more than a small and unimportant petty minded fool who warrants little or no attention, and commands even less. Its bad enough that your a fool, but your also a repetitive bore too. To be boring AND stupid in life is just inexcusable.Not to mention an insult to the rest of us that you are gay.