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Content about Recognition of same-sex unions in Ireland

October 28, 2014

Richard Perrins – a solicitor at leading specialist fertility and family law firm, Natalie Gamble Associates – explains more on the upcoming changes to England and Wales’ same-sex marriage arrangements and the provisions to convert an existing civil partnership into marriage

As of the 29 March 2014, marriage for same-sex couples in England and Wales became a reality and many have already tied the knot.

At the time the Same Sex Couples (Marriage) Bill was passed there was no immediate provision for those in a civil partnership to be able to convert this to a marriage if they chose.

July 1, 2014

All Irish political parties have already indicated support of marriage equality

A referendum on same-sex marriage in Ireland will be held in the spring of 2015, Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed today.

Kenny made the confirmation when asked about marriage equality in Ireland during Order of Business by Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams.

June 27, 2014

A new Vatican working paper which was the result of a worldwide survey of Catholics reiterates the church’s opposition to same-sex marriage but found nearly all Catholics thought having gay parents should not be a barrier to a child being baptized into the faith

A new Vatican report which will be the basis of a meeting of bishops in October has conceded that many Catholics now support the legal recognition of same-sex unions in countries where they are legal but reiterates the church’s opposition to such unions being recognized.

The Instrumentum Laboris working paper will be the basis of the upcoming Synod on the Family which has been organized by Pope Francis I to revisit the Catholic Church’s position on a range of issues related to marriage, sexuality and family.

June 26, 2014

Government has finally announced the date that gay couples in civil partnerships will be allowed to convert them into marriage

Gay couples will still be able to enter into civil partnerships in the UK, but straight couples are still banned from the legal union.

And following a consultation, the UK government has finally announced the date couples in civil partnerships are able to convert their unions into marriage.

That date is 10 December 2014.

More than 120,000 people have entered into a civil partnership since it was made law in 2004.

April 28, 2014

Cardinal Sean Brady and six bishops says it is not discrimination to oppose same-sex marriage as gay and straight relationships are fundamentally different

Bishops in Northern Ireland are demanding politicians to reject gay marriage tomorrow (29 April).

The assembly is due to debate a Sinn Fein-backed proposal to introduce same-sex marriage.

In a letter written to all members of the legislative assembly (MLA), it claims same-sex marriage undermines the principle of equality by applying it ‘inappropriately’.

April 28, 2014

Conservative leader reportedly believes giving straight couples civil partnerships would ‘undermine the sanctity of marriage’

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is opposed to giving straight couples the same equal rights as gays have when it comes to legal unions.

The Conservative leader will reportedly veto proposals to give straight couples the right to enter into civil partnerships.

It is alleged he believes civil partnerships for straight couples would ‘undermine the sanctity of marriage’ and possibly ‘alienate traditional Tory voters’.

March 28, 2014

UK reflects on how legislation has become equal across the past four decades, generations have become more liberal

Around four in five British adults would love to go to a same-sex wedding, new research suggests.

As several gay couples across England and Wales are ready to become among the first in the UK to get married tomorrow (29 March), the new legislation is a sign how much people’s attitudes have improved.

Back in the 1980s, the majority of Britons believed homosexuality was ‘always’ wrong.

In the BBC Radio 5 live survey released today (28 March), it found one in five would turn down a wedding invite from a same-sex couple.

February 22, 2014

Recent poll shows 76% of Irish people said they would vote in favour of introducing same-sex marriage in the country, though nearly half would have ‘reservations’

More than three quarters (76%) of Irish people would welcome the introduction of same-sex marriage, according to a recent poll.

Additionally, 80% of those surveyed agreed that same-sex couples should have the same rights as traditional families.

However despite this, 49% of respondents said they had reservations about same-sex marriage - a higher percentage than when asked if they had reservations about gay couples adopting children (41%).

February 10, 2014

Pending a public vote in 2015 to allow same-sex marriages in Ireland, those who travel abroad to get married will have their status recognized in their home country

Same-sex couples who travel from Ireland to marry in the England, Wales and Scotland will have their status recognized pending a public vote next year.

A Department of Justice spokesman has confirmed that once a referendum allowing same-sex marriage in Ireland is passed, all foreign unions will be recognized.

January 10, 2014

Wedding bells could be ringing for gay couples by the end of 2014 as the European country with a gay Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister finally looks set to pass marriage equality

Luxembourg is set to pass gay marriage this summer.

If approved by parliament, gay couples could be finally walking down the aisle by the end of the year.

Justice Minister Félix Braz announced the news this week, saying he hoped it would be finally made law after years of delays.

Drawn up by the former government in 2010, the same-sex marriage draft law was due to be voted on late last year.
But following a change of government in October, the vote was postponed.

November 14, 2013

Insider claims government is hoping English, Welsh and Scottish gay couples will be able to be married at the same time in summer 2014

The UK Government is waiting for Scotland to pass same-sex marriage before gay couples can marry in England and Wales, an official has claimed.

In the four months since the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act was passed into law, no formal reports have been made on implementation.

But while the government remains silent, an anonymous source involved in the development of the law has got in touch with us.

They have claimed it is taking a year because this will be roughly the amount of time the devolved Scottish parliament needs to fast-track the bill.

November 6, 2013

Messages of support and scorn are flooding in as the Catholics, Church of Ireland and LGBTI campaigners have their say on a equal marriage referendum in 2015

In what could be one of the fiercest fights for gay marriage across the globe, Ireland’s Prime Minister has thrown down the gauntlet by revealing his ‘strong support’ for the issue.

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny promised to campaign for it in a referendum in front of reporters last night (5 November), ending a long silence over his views on equal marriage.

The Government has decided the Irish public will vote on same-sex marriage by mid-2015.

November 4, 2013

A referendum promised by Ireland's deputy PM Eamon Gilmore is likely to take place in autumn 2014 or spring 2015

Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny has said he will finally reveal his views on same-sex marriage.

The Taoiseach and his centre-right party Fine Gael has said they will make an announcement on whether they will be supporting or opposing marriage equality tomorrow (5 November).

Last week, the Deputy PM and head of Labour Eamon Gilmore promised there will be a public vote on same-sex marriage before spring 2015.

October 28, 2013

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has promised Labour Youth members that he will push for a vote on marriage equality before 2015

Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister has promised the country will vote on same-sex marriage.

Eamon Gimore, the Tánaiste, said there will likely be a referendum on the issue after an overwhelming majority of the Constitutional Convention think-tank voted to recommend it.

But a spokesman for the Labour party politician has said he wants to push for legislation to allow gay couples to adopt children before Ireland votes on marriage equality.

‘Any referendum that takes place will have to be about marriage equality and not about other issues,’ he said.

October 8, 2013

Civil partnerships are up in 2012, soaring far beyond original government expectations, but same-sex divorces also rise by 20%

The number of gay, lesbian and bisexual people in the UK forming civil partnerships is already more than the government expected by 2050 and is still increasing.

Meanwhile the divorce rate for civil partners has also shot up by 20% in the last year.

The British Government originally expected fewer than 90,000 people to be in the partnerships by 2050. But with 120,908 civil partners across the country by the end of 2012, that ‘high take-up estimation’ has been left far behind.

August 30, 2013

What exactly is happening in Thailand and Vietnam on law reform to recognize gay and lesbian relationships? Doug Sanders reports from Bangkok and Hanoi

While the focus has been on gay marriage in the West, same-sex partnership rights have also been on the move in South East Asia. We examine progress in Thailand and Vietnam, where the legislation could be debated this year.

Thailand

In the fall of 2012, the issue of legal recognition for same-sex relationships was taken up by the Committee on Legal Affairs, Justice and Human Rights of the House of Representatives, the lower house in the Thai Parliament.

August 19, 2013

A member of a group of lawyers who has petitioned Chinese lawmakers to allow same-sex marriage has suggested that civil unions might be the first step towards that goal

One of ten lawyers who petitioned Chinese lawmakers to allow same-sex marriage in May said over the weekend that introducing civil partnerships might be the first step towards that goal.

Liu Wei, a lawyer with the Beijing-based Angelo Chen Law Office, made the comments at the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) sponsored 2013 China LGBT Community Consultation conference.

June 24, 2013

Gay marriage activists are concerned if same-sex marriage becomes legal in Republic of Ireland and not the north, then it would be a 'great embarrassment'

Ireland will be putting marriage equality to the public vote in 2014, according to Deputy Prime Minister Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore.

The Labor Party leader has confirmed the coalition government will put forward the gay rights legislation to the public in the form of a referendum next year.

The announcement follows after the Irish Constitutional Convention voted overwhelmingly in favor of same-sex marriage.

June 21, 2013

Alex Salmond's government will announce legislation for gay marriage and straight civil partnerships next week

Scotland is racing to catch up with England and Wales to give gay couples full equality under the law.

The devolved government are expected to finally outline their proposals to legalize same-sex marriage next week.

Going one step further than England and Wales, they are also expected to allow straight couples to enter civil partnerships.

Civil partnerships were first made legal in 2005, giving gay couples the ability to register their unions. They were given similar, but not all, the same legal recognition as married heterosexuals.

May 20, 2013

Veteran gay activist Peter Tatchell says UK government is ‘inconsistent, hypocritical and wrong’ by offering same-sex marriage but not straight civil partnerships

The current same-sex marriage bill going through the UK Parliament should be changed to allow for heterosexuals to have civil partnerships, veteran gay activist Peter Tatchell has said.

He is urging Members of Parliament (MPs) to vote for an amendment making the change to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill for England and Wales which is coming before the House of Commons again today (20 May).

May 20, 2013

New YouGov poll shows majority of Britons support same-sex marriages and civil partnerships for straight couples

Most Britons back same-sex marriage legislation with only a third against.

That's the result of a new poll by YouGov.

It indicated ongoing support for the legislation going through the UK Parliament for the change in England and Wales. Separate legislation is being developed in Scotland.

The survey found 54% of Britons support same sex marriage legislation, with 36% opposed. Among Conservatives, more people oppose the measures than support them but the margin is narrow (48% to 45%).

May 17, 2013

UK Culture Secretary and Equalities Minister Maria Miller says there will be a review into whether straight people will want a civil partnership

UK civil partnerships could be granted to straight couples, after senior minister Maria Miller acknowledged there should be a ‘review’ into the future of the unions.

Last night (16 May), the culture secretary and equalities minister said after lobbying by members of parliament over the status of civil partnerships, the government will ‘formally review’ their future.

Miller is opposed to giving civil partnerships to straight couples, which she has called ‘not a requirement’.

May 16, 2013

Peter Tatchell criticizes UK Equalities Minister Maria Miller for opposing civil partnerships for straight couples, saying it amounts to discrimination

Veteran LGBT rights advocate, Peter Tatchell said that the UK Equalities Minister, Maria Miller, is wrong to reject heterosexual civil partnerships.

He stated that the ban on heterosexual couples amounts to discrimination and that the minister defies public consultation, which backed straight equality.

‘The government’s decision to oppose the legalization of civil partnerships for heterosexual couples is hugely disappointing.

April 29, 2013

Members of the legislative assembly have voted 53 against, 42 in favor of introducing same-sex marriage

Northern Ireland leaders in the Assembly have narrowly voted against same-sex marriage today (29 April).

Out of the 97 members of the legislative assembly, 42 voted in favor while 53 voted against.

An amendment adding language about protecting religious freedoms in the motion also failed, with 51 voting against and 46 in favor.

The vote followed the Irish Constitution Convention that voted for equal marriage with a 79% majority.