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Ireland formally recognizes same-sex couple

Timothy Kincaid

January 17th, 2011

Although civil unions (which became legal at the beginning of the year) require a three month notice period under the laws of the Republic of Ireland, the nation began recognition of same-sex couples married abroad on Thursday. And on that day, officials officially recognized one such couple. (IrishTimes)

The couple, who work at Argos, formed a civil partnership at a ceremony in Northern Ireland last year.

Like other same-sex couples with a previous foreign civil marriage or partnership, their union became recognised under Irish law since last Thursday.

[But in the case of Glenn Cunningham and Adriano Vilar], there was a twist. On that same day, by chance, the pair were on a day off and at the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service offices trying to sort out Vilar’s residency status. He is Brazilian and has been living here on a student visa for the past two years or so.

“At first the officials didn’t know what to do, they’d never dealt with a legally binding civil partnership involving a gay couple,” recalls Mr Cunningham (43). “Eventually, the officials came back and said: ‘Congratulations – you’re the first couple in Ireland to be recognised as civil partners’. We were shocked – we couldn’t believe it!”

Mr Villar (29), adds: “My reaction was like, ‘Wow-wee, yahoo! Really?’ I’ve always felt quite insecure – only living here on a student visa. We went off and got a bottle of champagne to celebrate.”

Congratulations to Glenn and Adriano and to the many other Irish couples who now have, or soon will have, recognition in their homeland.

Comments

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andrewb
January 18th, 2011 | LINK

Congrats, boys

Jack
January 19th, 2011 | LINK

Twenty-five years ago Ireland was by far the most backward country in Western Europe.

Now, even in the midst of crippling economic conditions, it contines making progress. And this was done legislatively, not by court order. We’re decades from that here.

It’s also telling that Ireland will allow a non-national to gain residency as a result of same-sex partnership. Again a huge difference from the U.S.

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