A group that advocates full civil marriage for same-sex couples in Ireland demonstrated in Dublin at the weekend.
In June Ireland’s Justice minister published a draft bill that will grant gay and lesbian couples legal recognition in areas such as pensions, social security, property rights, tax, succession and the payment of maintenance.
The government has ruled out gay marriage, claiming that it would require a change to the country’s constitution and a potentially divisive referendum.
LGBT Noise mounted a symbolic “break in” at the Civil Registry Office on Saturday.
Dressed in wedding attire and brandishing lock-cutters and a stepladder, several people tried to “break in.”
RTE reports that up to 100 people took part in the protest.
Noise organiser Paul Kenny said:
“We are here to register our protest against the ban on gay marriage in Ireland.
“The Government’s Civil Partnership Bill offers gay and lesbian people ‘marriage-like’ rights as if they were merely human-like people.
“It is degrading and unjust. There are same-sex couples all over the country who desperately want to get married and they can’t.
“We believe that gay and lesbian people deserve the same access to civil marriage as other Irish citizens.”
Last month the Roman Cahtolic Church in Ireland said it may support a legal challenge to civil partnerships.
Cardinal Sean Brady said that as “marriage and the family are of public interest,” it was appropriate for the Church to intervene.
“Some might argue that it is in fact a breach of the Government’s Constitutional duty to protect the institution of marriage,” he said.
“Marriage, and with it the common good, is directly undermined when legislation and policy reduce marriage to simply one more form of relationship among others.”
The Cardinal claimed marriage is “fundamental to the public good and entitled to special consideration and care from the State. Other relationships, whether they are sexual or not, are the result of private interest.
“They do not have the same fundamental relationship to the good of society and to the bringing up of children as the family based on marriage.”