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Content about Recognition of same-sex unions in Ireland

February 16, 2015

One fifth, or 22%, are still undecided of how they are going to vote in the May referendum

More than three in five people will vote to legalise same-sex marriage in the Republic of Ireland, a new poll shows.

The latest figures from a Millward Brown survey, published yesterday in the Sunday Independent, show 62% of voters are set to back a change in the country's constitution just two months before a referendum on its recognition of marriage equality.

February 12, 2015

Government says treating same-sex unions differently is unconstitutional

A bill to allow gay marriage and adoption in Slovenia passed its first hurdle Tuesday (10 February) as a parliamentary committee backed the measure after several hours of debate.

The committee on labor, family, social affairs and the disabled voted in favor of making marriage law gender neutral by 11 votes to two.

The amendment was proposed by the opposition party, United Left, which said that marriage applies to two people – regardless of gender.

January 30, 2015

'I would like equal rights for both my sons'

A powerful letter from a mother fighting for same-sex marriages rights for her gay son is going viral in Ireland.

Mary Knox O'Brien, writing from the small village Rathgar outside Dublin, has given a simple argument before May's referendum on the issue.

Published in the Irish Times, she said she would love to see both sons have equal rights under the law.

'Sir, - I also share a concern for "the children". I am especially concerned for my own children.

January 29, 2015

The UK’s Office of National Statistics has released some new figures on the number of same-sex couple families living in the UK

According to newly-released statistics from the UK’s Office of National Statistics (ONS), co-habiting couples – both opposite-sex and same-sex – are the fastest growing family type in the UK.

The data is included in the ONS’ Families and Households, 2014 report, which revealed that cohabiting couple families grew by 29.7% between 2004 and 2014.

January 25, 2015

Same-sex marriage is now legal in the state – and couples who wish to jointly adopt will have to get hitched if they want to both be parents

The Virginia Senate committee rejected a proposal on Friday to extend adoption rights to the partners of unmarried gay partners.

Same-sex marriage is now legal in Virginia. However, not all same-sex couples wish to marry.

January 21, 2015

Irish public will vote in May

The wording of the same-sex marriage referendum in Ireland is now agreed on, it was announced today (21 January).

The Irish public will vote on same-sex marriage in May, the first country in the world to put the issue to a public vote.

They will be asked whether they agree or disagree with the following: 'Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex'.

The government will also enact legislative changes allowing same-sex partners to adopt children.

January 21, 2015

Following a TV debate on the issue of same-sex marriage, the Irish government has acted to clarify the bill relating to adoption by same-sex couples, and the specific wording of its marriage equality referendum

Ireland’s coalition government has confirmed that it plans to enact legislative changes allowing same-sex partners to adopt children before the country’s planned referendum on same-sex marriage in early May.

Currently, gay people can only apply to adopt as individuals. Changes allowing gay couples to jointly adopt will be outlined in the Children and Family Relationships Bill, which the government has confirmed will be published next month.

January 14, 2015

A referendum for equal marriage rights will be held in May this year

Ireland gay groups have warned that while polls are positive the country will soon get same-sex marriage, they could be deceptive.

Recent surveys have shown a majority of Irish citizens in every age group, in every region of the country, across every social class and across every political party believe gay and lesbian couples should be able to get married.

In May this year, there will be a referendum allowing people to vote for equal marriage rights.

December 30, 2014

Following a law change that came into effect on 16 December, Scotland’s first same-sex weddings will take place on Hogmanay

The first gay weddings are due to take place in Scotland after the stroke of midnight tonight.

The Scottish Parliament legalized same-sex marriage in February of this year, and the new law came into effect on 16 December.

On that date, anyone wishing to marry was able to give notice to marry: an obligatory 15-day period. This means that the first wedding ceremonies will take place tomorrow – the last day of the year.

December 16, 2014

Over two thirds of Irish people support same-sex marriage

Ireland has set a month for a referendum on marriage equality.

Groups both for and against same-sex marriage will rally as they prepare for the public vote in early May 2015. No specific date has been announced as of yet.

The issue was discussed today by Ministers at their final meeting before Christmas.

It comes as Scottish gay couples are finally able to get married today, following England and Wales earlier this year. There are currently no plans for Northern Ireland to pass same-sex marriage.

December 4, 2014

Catholic church launches a 16-page pastoral statement against gay marriage

The Irish church has said the legalization of gay marriage would be a 'grave injustice' in a 16-page pastoral statement it is distributing ahead of a referendum on the issue early next year.

The pamphlet, titled The Meaning of Marriage, was launched yesterday (3 December) at the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference in Maynooth, and is currently being distributed to more than 1,300 parishes across the country.

The statement said that 'to redefine the nature of marriage would be to undermine it as the fundamental building block of our society.'

November 29, 2014

Fr Kevin Doran, Bishop of Elphin, likens gay relationships to ‘sexual friendships’, and says that although he is in favor of inheritance and visitation rights for long-term couples, is against same-sex marriage or adoption rights

With Ireland set to hold a referendum on the issue of same-sex marriage in early 2015, an increasing number of its religious leaders are weighing in on the debate.

The latest is the recently appointed Bishop of Elphin, Fr Kevin Doran – one of the country’s most senior Roman Catholic bishops.

November 4, 2014

Australian Capital Territory's marriage equality law was overturned last year

The Australian government's successful challenge to the Australian Capital Territory's (ACT) gay marriage law cost the state $800,000 (US$697,800) in legal fees.

Solicitor-General Peter Garrisson told a Legislative Assembly hearing yesterday that the ACT paid $500,000 (US$436,130) in legal fees to the federal government after the country's first marriage equality law was overturned in December last year.

Bills for two external lawyers totaled $112,000 (US$97,690) and the cost of work completed by government lawyers was about $200,000 (US$17,445).

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.