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Marriage and civil partnership 'not equal', LGBT survey finds

A new survey shows that 8 out of 9 people in same-sex relationships believe a civil partnership to be a lesser institution.

Image: laverrue via Flickr

EIGHT OUT OF nine people in same-sex relationships believe that civil partnerships confer lesser rights and benefits as a traditional marriage, according to a new survey of the LGBT community.

The survey, conducted by Irish wedding website Mrs2be.ie, found that just 7 per cent of people in same-sex relationships believed the civil partnership avenue opened to them by the Civil Partnership Act last year – under which couples will be allowed to be civilly registered come April – were equal to those enjoyed by married couples.

72 per cent of those surveyed, however, said that the Act was a step in the right direction – while just under 27 per cent felt it was “completely inadequate” and left significant issues unaddressed.

Of the 215 people surveyed, 59 – about 36.6 per cent – said they intended to have a civil partnership ceremony anyway. Of those, 62 per cent said they wanted to celebrate their commitment to their partner, while 27 per cent said they wanted to benefit from the legal and financial allowances made to civil partners.

Just under 18 per cent of those planning a civil partnership said they had experienced some form of discrimination from wedding suppliers on the basis of their sexuality, while 3.2 per cent said some suppliers had refused to deal with them at all on that basis.

The survey also found that 67 per cent of respondents cast their vote in last month’s general election based on each individual party’s position on same-sex marriage, while 25 per cent said their vote was not influenced by political policy.

A slim majority – 55 per cent to 42 per cent – thought Ireland would legislate for full marriage equality during the term of the current government. The programme for government agreed between Fine Gael and Labour agreed to refer the matter to a constitutional convention.

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Gavan Reilly

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