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The 'principle of equal citizenship' should include same-sex marriage - Shatter

The 13 and 14 of April have been chosen as the dates during which same-sex marriage will be discussed as part of the Constitutional Convention.
Jan 28th 2013, 5:04 PM 5,960 117

THE MINISTER FOR Justice Alan Shatter has said that he personally believes that Ireland should not continue to “prevent same-sex couples from entering into a legal partnership that is legally recognised and designated as being a marriage.”

Shatter was speaking earlier today as he launched the GLEN progress reports for 2010 to 2012.

The chair of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), Kieran Rose, said that the organisation welcomed Shatter’s “strong personal support for equal access to civil marriage.”

Shatter also disclosed that he was preparing a Family Relationships and Childrens Bill, which he expected would be published this year.

Speaking of “one of the gaps” in the civil partnership legislation of 2010, Shatter said that issues which related to the parental rights of gay couples and the legal relationship of gay parents to children being parented by them needed to be dealt with specifically.

Constitutional Convention

Shatter’s speech comes as the 13 and 14 of April have been chosen as the dates during which same-sex marriage will be discussed as part of the Constitutional Convention.

Marriage Equality director Moninne Griffith welcomed the setting of a date, saying:

The polling shows Irish people want this. Ireland is ready, with a strong majority of Irish people who think same sex couples should have the right to marry the person they love.

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Speaking of the possibility of a referendum on same-sex marriage at some point in the future, Shatter said that defusing the fears of those who would be against it would require “calm, lucid reason.”

On the progress that had been made over the last number of years, he warned that it did not mask the fact that “in our schools, our sporting events, our working and our social environments, a minority still feel they can, with impunity, launch into homophobic abuse of other individuals.”

In full: GLEN Progress Report 2010 to 2012

Read: Almost 1,000 civil partnerships in Ireland in 2012 >

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Paul Hyland

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