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Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for December, 2009

Irish Fianna Fáil Party required to vote for Partnerships

Timothy Kincaid

December 4th, 2009

From Irish Central

Irish Justice Minister Dermot Ahern refused to allow party colleagues to abstain or vote against a new bill legalizing civil partnerships for gay couples.

He banned the so-called “freedom of conscience” clause for colleagues to defy the government and vote against the bill.

With other minority parties supporting the bill, it is expected to pass.

Partnership Bill introduced in Ireland

Timothy Kincaid

December 3rd, 2009


A partnership registry in Ireland has been introduced. From Fox News

Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said Thursday that the Civil Partnerships Bill would give gay couples the same rights as married heterosexual couples to questions of inheritance, medical care and access to state benefits — and also the same right to demand financial support from wealthier partners when relationships fail.

The bill faces opposition from a minority of lawmakers in the ruling Fianna Fail party. But its passage into law this month appears assured because of strong backing by opposition parties.

Although most couple rights are included, rights relating to children are missing. For those, and other reasons, it is being dismissed by some gay groups as inadequate

Earlier, The National Lesbian and Gay Federation rejected the Bill, and reiterated calls for the immediate introduction of a civil marriage option.

The Union of Students in Ireland says the proposed Bill will offer a number of legal rights to lesbian and gay couples but falls short of offering many of the rights and protections covered by civil marriage.

The USI says the Bill ‘refuses to recognise the existence of same sex families, leaving children of same sex couples vulnerable and unprotected under Irish law’.

USI Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual Transgender Rights Officer Laura Finlay said: ‘The implementation of this Civil Partnership Bill will only serve to enshrine in law the second class citizenship of LGBT people in this country.

‘It is wholly unfair and sends out the message that gay people in Ireland are not equal to their heterosexual counterparts.’

A provision allowing marriage would not be possible by means of legislation as most politicians agree that such a law would require national referendum to change to the wording of the constitution. And the government has expressed intention to address some other outstanding issues involving taxation and social welfare.

Civil Partnerships Come to Ireland

Timothy Kincaid

June 26th, 2009

Ireland has finally passed published its Civil Partnership Bill which provides many (but not all) of the rights, priveleges, and responsibilities to same-sex couples. (Reuters) The bill has strong support and is expected to become law.

“This bill provides legal protection for cohabiting couples and is an important step, particularly for same-sex couples, whose relationships have not previously been given legal recognition by the state,” Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said in a statement.

The legislation provides a range of previously denied rights including maintenance obligations, protection of a shared home and succession. “Balance is achieved by maintaining material distinctions between civil partnership and marriage, in particular between the rights attaching to both, while at the same time reflecting the equality rights protected by the constitution,” Ahern said.

The Irish Constitution requires that marriage be given preferential treatment (Irish Times).

The heads of the Bill (giving an outline of the proposed legislation) were first published in late 2007 but progress was slowed by a number of complex issues. One of the issues is believed to have been the potential conflict between the strong rights conferred to marriage in the Constitution and the equality rights protected by Article 40.1.

With Ireland providing recognition, Europe now looks like this:

Green = marriage; Red = civil unions or other recognition

Green = marriage; Red = civil unions or other recognition

Irish Anglicans are United

Timothy Kincaid

July 26th, 2008

According to the Irish Times

Ireland’s 12 Church of Ireland bishops may differ as to whether gay clergy should be consecrated bishops, but each respected the other’s opinion, the Archbishop of Dublin said yesterday.

Considering the turmoil that some parts of the Anglican family have been stirring up, it is good to see a measured spiritual response from this body of believers.

Irish Eyes are Smiling on Gay Couples

Timothy Kincaid

March 31st, 2008

The Irish government is in the process of determining the method it will employ to recognize gay couples. Meanwhile, support for marriage equality has increased in Ireland. Currently,

  • 58% favor allowing marriage in registry offices
  • 26% favor civil partnerships but do not favor marriage
  • 16% do not favor either

Pinknews reports on the expected governmental decision.

The Irish government has ruled out gay marriage, claiming that it would require a change to the country’s constitution and a potentially divisive referendum.

Justice Minister Brian Lenihan is expected to bring forward proposals for a form of civil partnerships at the end of this month.

Ireland to offer Same-Sex Relationship Recognition

Timothy Kincaid

November 1st, 2007


Parts of Europe have provided some recognition and protection for same-sex couples for about a decade. Currently three countries (in green) provide marriage equality while many more (in red) offer various secondary protections ranging from civil unions that are identical to marriage down to limited property rights.

As discussed recently, Austria is considering civil union protections. And Sweden will soon be converting their Registered Partnerships to Marriage.

Now from the Belfast Telegraph comes word that Ireland has given a time frame for their long promised legislation on same-sex partner recognition.

The Government is promising to bring in legislation next year recognising civil partnerships among same-sex couples.

The new law will also allow heterosexual couples to form legal arrangements without the requirement of marriage.

There is no word yet as to the extent of the bill but it is likely to be far less than the civil unions bill proposed by the opposition party.

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