CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS between same-sex couples registered overseas are officially recognised as being valid under Irish law from today, under the terms of the Civil Partnership Act signed into law last year. As a result, any couple with a same-sex partnership registered in certain overseas territories can claim the same tax and inheritance rights as male-female couples. The first Irish-performed civil partnership ceremonies will begin in April, as couples are required to give three months’ notice of similar partnerships in Ireland.
# civil-partnerships - Thursday 20 December, 2012
The guidelines point out rights and obligations attached to civil partnerships and protection for cohabiting couples.
Michael D Higgins will be busy over Christmas: no fewer than seven Bills will be wrapped up today and sent for signature.
# civil-partnerships - Wednesday 19 December, 2012
New CSO figures show there were 17,958 births in the second quarter, with the average mother aged 31.9.
# civil-partnerships - Thursday 6 December, 2012
The Dáil debates the Budget and the Expert Group report, while the Seanad allows secular bodies to perform civil ceremonies.
# civil-partnerships - Wednesday 3 October, 2012
Data shows that 862 couples have entered civil partnerships in the 17 months since they were first permitted in Ireland.
# civil-partnerships - Sunday 15 July, 2012
Small changes in language could make a world of difference at the Constitutional Convention, writes Senator Katherine Zappone – so let’s get it right.
# civil-partnerships - Friday 6 July, 2012
Many workers still feel they have to hide their sexual orientation, writes Davin Roche. Changing this would be good for business.
# civil-partnerships - Tuesday 12 June, 2012
The Church says that it could be forced to stop conducting weddings on behalf of the state if gay marriage is legalised.
# civil-partnerships - Friday 18 May, 2012
The Department of Finance commits to making the final changes necessary to give equal treatment to same-sex partners.
# civil-partnerships - Thursday 10 May, 2012
Ireland already has civil partnerships for couples who want to make a commitment – but should the country follow Barack Obama’s lead on gay marriage?
# civil-partnerships - Saturday 31 March, 2012
Transgender people can currently only enter same-sex civil partnerships if their new gender was registered in another country.
# civil-partnerships - Thursday 22 March, 2012
A large Republican majority in the state House of Representatives is not enough to overturn laws allowing full gay marriage.
# civil-partnerships - Saturday 10 March, 2012
The Pope has denounced the “powerful” US gay marriage lobby, while Catholics in Britain have been urged to defend heterosexual unions.
# civil-partnerships - Tuesday 14 February, 2012
# civil-partnerships - Tuesday 20 December, 2011
Gay couples who were married in New York, Illinois, South Africa and other parts of the world will be recognised as being in a civil partnership under Irish law.
# civil-partnerships - Monday 5 December, 2011
The Mayo-based group believes major parts of the Civil Partnership Act are in conflict with the Constitution and therefore illegal.
# civil-partnerships - Wednesday 9 November, 2011
A devout Christian couple, who were forced to pay compensation to a gay couple who tried to stay in their B&B, launch an appeal.
# civil-partnerships - Monday 29 August, 2011
Most people think same-sex couples should have full marriage equality – so what’s taking so long, asks Kirsten Fjoser.
# civil-partnerships - Sunday 14 August, 2011
Demonstrators in Dublin are today seeking to lift the ban on same-sex marriage. What do you think about the issue?
# civil-partnerships - Thursday 9 June, 2011
The Bill will allow couples in civil partnerships to avail of income tax, stamp duty, capital acquisitions tax, capital gains tax and VAT benefits – just as married couples can.
# civil-partnerships - Thursday 7 April, 2011
Judge Vaughn Walker, who retired a few months after his landmark decision, confirms that he himself is homosexual.
# civil-partnerships - Tuesday 5 April, 2011
A couple from Dublin will be one of the first to be formally joined on Irish soil in a ceremony later today.
# civil-partnerships - Sunday 27 March, 2011
Catch up on the day’s main news, as well as the bits and pieces you may have missed earlier.
A new survey shows that 8 out of 9 people in same-sex relationships believe a civil partnership to be a lesser institution.
# civil-partnerships - Tuesday 18 January, 2011
A Christian couple is told their policy that unmarried couples – including homosexuals – cannot share rooms is unlawful.
# civil-partnerships - Thursday 13 January, 2011
# civil-partnerships - Thursday 23 December, 2010
The Commencement Order is signed to bring the Civil Partnership Act into law as of January 1 next year.
# civil-partnerships - Sunday 22 August, 2010
SAME SEX COUPLES and their supporters who feel that the Civil Partnership Bill does not go far enough towards giving equal rights to all Irish citizens will march through Dublin today.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender campaign group, Noise, have organised the march, which will leave from Dublin City Hall and continue to the Department of Justice in the city centre.
The March for Marriage protest will kick off at 2pm.
Although the Civil Partnership Bill, which was signed into law last month, is the first legal recognition of civil right within same-sex partnerships many feel that it still discriminates between Irish citizens on the basis of their sexuality.
The bill legal provides benefits in the areas of property, social welfare, and tax to same-sex couples; however Noise calls on LGBT people “not to settle for half-measures” and push for full marriage rights.
Saying on its website that the Civil Partnership Bill “makes us second class citizens”, the group outlines their objections to the legislation, focusing on the rights of children with same-sex parents. Noise says that the bill:
- Offers no way for parents to create protected legal bonds with each other as parents or with their children
- Denies parents the right to make educational and medical decisions regarding their children
- Denies children of LGBT parents the right to inherit from their parents
# civil-partnerships - Thursday 5 August, 2010
AN AMERICAN JUDGE has ruled California’s ban on same-sex marriage illegal – raising the possibility of a Supreme Court hearing to determine whether any ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.
Judge Vaughn R Walker, the chief judge of the Federal District Court in San Francisco, ruled that Proposition 8 – the measure which outlawed gay marriage in the state, approved by referendum in 2008 – “cannot withstand any level of scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause” of the federal Constitution.
“Excluding same-sex couples from marriage is simply not rationally related to a legitimate state interest,” he ruled.
However, Walker placed an immediate stay on his own ruling, freezing it until a separate hearing determines whether to once again allow same-sex marriages while his ruling is appealed.
The ruling will now be appealed to the local branch of the national court of appeals, but commentators anticipate that the matter will ultimately come before the Supreme Court itself which would ultimately rule on whether all bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional.
The Equal Protection Clause provides that “no state shall [...] deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Supporters of the legal challenge welcomed the ruling, claiming it a major legal victory in the quest for full equality.
“Being gay is about forming an adult family relationship with a person of a same sex,” said gay rights activist Jennifer Pizer, “so denying us equality within the family system is to deny respect for the essence of who we are as gay people.”
Pastor Jim Garlow, however, who had been an outspoken proponent of the ban, said congregations across America ‘would fast and pray for the ban to be restored.’
Other opponents argued that the Constitutional reference to ‘We the People’ would mean the court would acknowledge the fact that the public had twice voted against gay marriage – at Proposition 8 and also in 2000, when voters explicitly defined marriage as between “a man and a woman”.
The controversial proposition 8 was passed in November 2008 – on the same day that Barack Obama was elected president – by 52% of voters, which barred any future gay marriages, but did not rule earlier gay marriages illegal.
# civil-partnerships - Monday 19 July, 2010
# civil-partnerships - Sunday 18 July, 2010
RUMOURS ARE MOUNTING that President Mary McAleese may convene the Council of State to discuss the constitutionality of the Civil Partnership Bill.
The Bill – which past its final hurdle in Leinster House last Thursday week with passage through the Seanad – was presented to the President last Wednesday.
McAleese is required to sign the Bill into law on the 5th, 6th, or 7th day after it is presented to her – meaning she can sign it any time between Monday and Wednesday of this week.
It is widely believed, however, that McAleese may exercise a provision in the Constitution and convene the Council of State for a discussion on whether certain clauses of the Bill are in conflict with the constitution.
In particular it is understood that a clause relating to co-habitation and how it may impact current law on heterosexual couples will come under review.
It is also reported that a high-ranking senior counsel has been advised not to book any holidays in case the bill is referred to the Supreme Court.
If the Council of State agrees that there may be some conflict, it can refer the Bill to the Supreme Court for a final ruling on it. Should the Supreme Court find the Bill acceptable, it would then be bulletproof from future legal challenge.
The Council of State is comprised of:
- the heads of the Supreme Court and High Court
- the Taoiseach and Tánaiste
- the Ceann Comhairle of the Dáil and Cathaoirleach of the Seanad
- the Attorney-General
- seven presidential nominees
- any past living Presidents
- any past living Chief Justices of the Supreme Court
- any past living Taoisigh
Supporters of the Bill have welcomed the move, with gay rights advocate Panti noting that any Supreme Court ruling would pre-emptively deny opponents of the group the chance to prepare a legal challenge of their own.
There remains some confusion, however, over whether the Supreme Court can rule individual sections of the Bill out of order and still approve the remainder as constitutional, or whether it is required to throw out the entire Bill.