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Marriage Equality jumped another legal hurdle today as marriages move closer

The bill will now move to the Seanad before it is enacted.

Image: PA Wire/PA Images

THE BILL WHICH will allow same-sex couples to marry has been passed by the Dáil and will be fully enacted “in a couple of weeks”.

The Marriage Bill 2015 was passed this afternoon and it will now move through the Seanad, a process that Minister Frances Fitzgerald said she hoped would be completed quickly.

The result of the referendum has already been enshrined in the constitution but this bill allows for the civil marriages to take place.

A number of minor amendments to the bill were debated this morning before it was passed and a number of deputies lauded its passage.

Former Justice Minster Alan Shatter described the passing of the bill through the Dáil as a “particularly historical day”.

“I think it was an astounding outcome to that referendum that such a large majority in this state supported change,” he said.

Cork South Central TD Jerry Buttimer said that it was a very important day that showed that “our people have spoken”.

Mary Lou McDonald TD acknowledged members from the Yes Equality campaign who were present in the chamber for, “the joy that you brought to an issue that had a joyful ending.”

Minster Fitzgerald said that it was “a day to thank the people of Ireland for their vote on 22 May.”

She added that the bill would now move forward to Seanad before being fully enacted “in a couple of weeks”.

Section 37

Shatter said that the passing of the bill was the “flesh on the bones” of the referendum result and should be celebrated.

Despite this, Shatter voiced concern about section 37 of the Employment Equality Act, saying that “crucial change is needed”.

Section 37 allows religious schools discriminate in employment practices and the former minister said that some teachers may be reluctant to get married in a same-sex partnership because of this.

“As I understand it, the government is proceeding to address the issue, I think it’s important it’s addressed during the lifetime of this Dáil,” he said.

“I would be concerned in the context of the employment situation of some, such as teachers, where they’re working in denominational based schools, they may fear availing of the freedoms made available to them.”

Read: It’s (finally) official: Marriage Equality is now enshrined in Irish law >

Read: Ireland says ‘I do’: The Marriage Equality Bill will be published tomorrow >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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