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Irish civil partnerships come into law

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  1. Noel Dolan 4 Jan 2011, 1:24pm

    We went to the local registry office just an hour ago and asked to have our Spanish marriage recognised and they hadn’t a clue what to do or say. They have no ‘Civil Partnership’ forms or information leaflets and told us they’d get back to us in a couple of weeks. Remember, Irish ‘Civil Partnerships’ are not available to heterosexual couples, so the discrimination goes both ways and I foresee this being challenged in the courts soon.

  2. Welcome to the world of discrimination, Ireland.

    Noel, your marriage performed in Spain will be treated as they are in the UK, downgraded to a civil partnership even though you hold a legal marriage certificate. The two are not he same, never have been and never will be. Its absolutely appalling and disgusting that the Irish and British governments treat gay and straight couples in this manner. I think you’re right, this will have to be challenged in the courts as it will be in the UK soon.

  3. @ Noel Dolan, check out the Equal Love Campaign:

    Disgraceful that any heterosexual couple who might have gotten married beside you in Spain will retain their married status in Ireland but you as a same sex couple will have your married status stripped from you and replaced with a Civil Partnership.

  4. An Cat Dubh 4 Jan 2011, 1:47pm

    @Robert: Israel does acknowledge foreign same-sex marriage, and the UK still has the nerve to preach it… But I’m going off topic.
    Congrats Ireland for the baby step forward. Sláinte, a hÉireann :Þ

  5. “Israel does acknowledge foreign same-sex marriage”

    And can a straight couple or a gay couple go to the registry office in Israel and get a civil marriage? Uh-oh – no they can’t. Only foreign civil marriages are recognised in Israel. Within israel the cults have hijkacked marriage.

    As for Ireland. Has the Zappone-Gilligan case been ruled on in the courts yet. They are a lesbian couple who sued to have their Canadian marriage recognised as such in Ireland. What is the outcome of that

  6. A small step in the right direction, but still not equality and not good enough.

  7. certain listed countries who have same-sex civil marriages or civil partnerships will be automatically recognised as an Irish civil partnership. You will not have to register them in Ireland, it will be automatic. To see the full list check GLEN’s websitee at or GLEN on Facebook

  8. Bill Perdue 4 Jan 2011, 4:24pm

    Civil unions and partnerships and domestic partnerships, absent the full benefits and rights of civil marriages, are a form of second class citizenship.

    Often they’re a sop and act as roadblock to further progress, as in this case. Ahern, who proposed the bill, is a notorious right wing insect who tried to add the crime of ‘blasphemy’ to the statute books to stifle the rising tide of criticism of rapist priests who infest the Republic.

    Ahern, a tool of the priestly class, meant this bill to sidetrack the movement for same sex marriage, just as Obama and Clinton do in the US.

    ‘During the debate on decriminalisation of Homosexuality in the Dáil in 1993, he agreed with a statement by Fine Gael TD, Brendan McGahon which reads: “Homosexuality is a departure from normality and while homosexuals deserve our compassion they do not deserve our tolerance” and who described homosexuals as being “like lefthand drivers driving on the right-hand side of the road.”
    Ahern himself added: “Will we eventually see the day in this country when, as has happened in the USA, homosexuals will seek the right to adopt children? We should think seriously about this possibility’.

  9. Well, despite the comments here that highlight (rightly) the level of inequality between CP and full marriage rights, and Bill Perdue’s signature rants that ignore the fact people can and are entitled to change their mind and opinions (maybe Bill should visit Ireland rather then using wikipedia to fuel his out of date view that priests run the country), I see this as a great and monumental step forward for Ireland. And as the Attorney General of Ireland said that any same sex marriage legislation would be tested in the Supreme Court for its constitutionality, possibly delaying any legal recognition to same sex couples, CP’s was the preferred first step. While this Bill is far from ideal, it is that first step in the right direction.

    Bare in mind, 17 years ago homosexuality was illegal in this country. And now we have recognition of gay relationships. Most, if not all, countries that offer same sex marriage equality go through the civil partnership route first, and I am sure Ireland will be no different in that regard. If we waited on full marriage we would still be sitting here with no legal protection for same sex couples, probably another 10 years, and there are couples that need this protection now. What’s more encouraging is that the majority of Irish people are far more agreeable to same sex marriage than the current government are, and the debate in the Seanad Éireann around Civil Partnership legislation was truly uplifting to see. It should be interesting to see how the next government, which will undoubtedly be more left than the current, do to improve this legislation and investigate properly how the constitution will be affected by same sex marriage.

  10. The Civil Partnership Act is indeed a much needed step in the right direction and it is welcome.

    But as it’s now legal we should not bury our heads in the sand – it is still a discriminatory apartheid regime, created solely to deny us equality.

    When CP’s were brought in in Britain 5 years ago, it was not the end of the story. Within 5 years people were demanding full legal equality, and Stonewall had thoroughly delegitimised itself because of its refusal to support equality.

    It’s disappointing that Ireland chose Civil Partnership Apartheid.

    But if the Irish government thinks that this is the end of the matter they are in for a rude awakening.

  11. Civil Partnership in the UK and Ireland is in effect gay marriage in all but name. As far as I can see the ONLY differences from straight marriage is that CP is not recognised in other countries (hardly the government’s fault) or that a CP marriage cannot take place in a church (no great loss there). Apart from that CP enjoys EXACTLY the same rights as straight marriage.
    So when some people say that CP makes gay people 2nd class citizens they are talking rubbish. Can these people please point out in what way CP differs from marriage (apart from what I’ve pointed out above) in terms of obligations, legal and financial rights. Because I’m not aware that there are any.

  12. Hodge Podge 4 Jan 2011, 7:37pm

    Mal, apart from the trans people who have to get divorced before they get their GRC, it is a bit of an insult. They created a new institution which is exactly the same rather then expanding the existing one.

  13. “Because I’m not aware that there are any.”

    With regards to the Irish CP, you are correct, they offer all the same legal recognition of marriage except with regards to children of CP’s, they have no rights of parenthood, which is an awful omission by the Irish government.

  14. “Apart from that CP enjoys EXACTLY the same rights as straight marriage.”

    Pensions? If 1 civil partner dies then his surviving partner will receive less than half the pension that a surviving wife would receive.

    And if CP’s and marriages are EXACTLY the same as you pretend, then why go to all the bother to create a brand new union simply to deny marriage equality.

    And let’s not forget that in Ireland the CP legislation discriminates not only against same sex couples but it also discriminates against any children they may have. Only 1 person in the CP is allowed to be a legal parent. Therefore in theory if a lesbian couple in a CP has a child through artificial insemination and they raise the child as a couple, and if the birth mother dies, then her surviving partner has not legal rights or responsibilities towards their child.

    It’s not only discriminatory against gay couples; it’s discriminatory against children.

    Civil partnership is apartheid. Make no mistake about that.

    I look forward to seeing GLEN’s plan for marriage equality later within the year.

    If they don’t stay on top of this issue they will become as delegitimsed; irrelevant and distrusted as Stonewall in the UK have become.

  15. David,

    I was assuming that Irish CP was modelled on UK CP. But I concede that their are differences. Parental rights discrimination is indeed very dissapointing on the part of the Irish.

    I don’t know about Ireland but as far as I’m aware pensions rights in the UK CP and straight marriage are identical. To say that a surviving civil partner does not inherit the full pension is wrong (at least in the UK).

    When my partner and I got CP’ed our financial advisers and solicitors researched this and told us that our pensions, investment, tax and inheritance rights were exactly the same as for straight married couples.

    All our friends consider us ‘married’ and if society thinks of civil partnership as de facto gay marriage, then that is exectly what it will become.

    The next step is to get CP/gay marriage internationally compatible and recognised (particularly in Europe).

  16. “Pensions?”


    “And if CP’s and marriages are EXACTLY the same as you pretend”

    I “pretend” nothing, I have read the legislation. The rights, other then with parenthood (which I stated), are identical.

    “And let’s not forget that in Ireland the CP legislation discriminates not only against same sex couples but it also discriminates against any children they may have.”

    I already stated that.

    “then why go to all the bother to create a brand new union simply to deny marriage equality.”

    Irish constitution definition of marriage would lead to a Supreme Court challenge according to the Attorney General, as I stated.

    “Civil partnership is apartheid. Make no mistake about that.”

    That’s your opinion. Not everyone is so insular. Its a free country, you can chose to wait until full marriage comes in if that’s your preference.

    Before you get on your high horse, David, I suggest you take the time to read the legislation, as well as my prior posts.

  17. Sean Pearse 5 Jan 2011, 9:04pm

    David, you’re talking out of your a*se. And whats with the loaded words like “apartheid”? Grow up. If people want to partake in Civil Partnerships in Ireland, that’s their democratic right, as is yours not to. Its about legal recognition and protection thats much needed in Ireland for LGBT couples, and if you feel second class because of that, that’s your cross to carry.

    Will, reading the GLEN website it looks like tax, inheritance, next of kin and pensions rights are covered. Not great on the children protection, but what do you expect from Fianna Fail? As you said, its a first step in many yet to come.

  18. David is right.

    CP’s in Ireland are even more discriminatory than they are in the UK.

    That’s simply a fact.

  19. Bill Perdue 6 Jan 2011, 3:09am

    Will, the Tory dunce who pretends to be Irish can, always be found defending indefensible bigots like Ahern.

    For years he and twisted sister defended the second class status associated with civil partnerships. He wants us to forget what a rightwing lout he was, and is.

  20. “Will, the Tory dunce who pretends to be Irish can, always be found defending indefensible bigots like Ahern.”

    Indeed. “Pretend to be Irish” – back to the usual stupid statements in lieu of an opinion, are we Bill? Even the term “Tory” is British and nothing to do with current Irish politics – but lets not allow such a “minor” point of historic and cultural significance to get in the way of your lunatic rants, Bill.

    Next time, make a valid argument based in reality, and then you can pass judgement on Ireland. Typical of Americans like you:- wikipedia is usually a good substitute for a passport and actually visiting the country.

    SteveC, you see discrimination, and I see progress in the right direction. There are plenty of people who will benefit form this legislation, and they won’t feel that same discrimination you mention as “fact”. It is nothing of the sort. In actuality, it is one step away from that, not the opposite. It makes a legal framework for recognition of gay/lesbian unions, and in turn that legal framework that will help remove discrimination.

    There is much wrong with this legislation, I agree, but there is much right with it too, and I find a balanced appraisal better than Bill’s and David’s ill-informed views.

  21. I am appalled by some of the comments here calling CP “apartheid”. How insulting to those who chose to partake in it!!! As someone here already said, if you don’t agree with it, you can choose not to use it. Wait on marriage if it makes you feel better about yourself. But don’t insult others becuase you are having feelings of inadequacy. You people base your assumption on two thing: one, all gay people want marriage, and two, all gay people *need* marriage to feel equal. Both are not true. As to Bill Perdue, wtf man? You sound like a complete racists for starters. You also don’t seem to have a clue as to the difference between Eire and Great Britain. Not surprising really.

  22. Good luck to all the Irish planning their civil partnerships in 2011! Its great news that Ireland is joining the growing number of countries recognising that same sex relationships need recognition and protection.

  23. Bill Perdue 6 Jan 2011, 3:06pm

    Will is a rightwing scab, a Tory, a Republican (in the US sense) and an opponent of everything progressive. Now he tells us that Ahern is a reformed bigot, that he’s changed. Has he apologized for the bigoted filth he uttered. Prove it. Otherwise we’ll know you’re still a liar. Will, and an inept one at that. And prove that Ireland is not priest ridden. That’s another lie.

    When people pretend that Civil Unions and Partnerships are the same as marriage they simply repeat the lies of Obama, Cameron and other bigots. People like Will and those who mindlessly parrot his rightwing politics and support second class citizenship are bigot enablers.

    Waiting for bigots to give us equality is, to put it mildly, unproductive. But that’s ok Will the Dunce. He’ll just keep waiting. And waiting. And waiting. The movement, on the other hand, will continue to promote full citizenship and marriage equality. People like Will promote the idea that second class citizenship and marriage segregation ar. That’s another lie. They sideline the goal of equality.

    Will, for as long as I’ve seen him comment, has been in the forefront of the rightwing groups that accept crumbs from bigots and call it progress. He consistently tries to derail the discussion with his own brand of personal BS. He’d be better off if he just stuck to the fact, but since that means he’d lose every argument, he has to engage in ad hominem’s ad infinitum. It’s actually more than a little boring because it’s so predictable.

    Will thinks crumbs are good news. I don’t. We’ll starve if all we get is crumbs. I agree with Desmond Tutu: “I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights.”

  24. “Will is a rightwing scab, a Tory, a Republican (in the US sense) and an opponent of everything progressive.”

    And, Bill, you are an offensive buffoon with all the intellectual prowess of a demented child. I think we have well established your lunacy on this site before, no one pays any heed to you, least of all me. I need to prove nothing to you, as I am Irish, I am fully aware of the legal situation in my country. You, are not. Perhaps if you take that tin foil hat of your head and stop screaming at passing cars at the intersection, you might learn something.

  25. WTF??? Is this the bleeding Twilight Zone????

    To Bill Perdue, your last comment is bordering on insanity. And you are clearly a racist towards Irish people. Will makes some excellent points based on facts that I know to be true (yes, I’m actually Irish too). You do not. I have seen nothing that makes me think that Will or anyone else here is at the leading edge of any “right-wing group” or is a “bigot enabler” as you put it. This makes YOU a liar. If you cannot address the issues at hand with facts, do not demean others by resorting to childish lies and insults. And one thing that others have commented on here, is there is no Tory party in the Republic of Ireland. You have no place to comment on what you do not understand, and I find your vitriol offensive. From the other posts here, I think others do too. So, please Bill, get lost, this is not a forum for racists nutters like you who can’t see how ridiculous they sound.

    To Will and everyone else, ignore him, just another sad old nut job that this site seems to attract like flies to excrement.

  26. I see Mr. Perdue is back with his signature insults and crazy rants? We missed him, he’s been gone a while. Well, bless his cotton socks, I can sleep better knowing people like him are roaming the streets unsupervised and without medication.

  27. Bill Perdue 17 Jan 2011, 7:43pm

    john s and tbk – wee willies sockpuppets

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