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Politicians in Ireland inched the nation one step closer to civil partnerships today. The government hopes to iron out the last kinks by next week, when it will be put toward a vote. The Bill expands health, pension and inheritance rights to long term couples who can’t or don’t get married. While certainly it’s a step in the right direction, a number of rights remain withheld, like adoption. [Irish Times]

By:           Andrew Belonksy
On:           Apr 2, 2008
Tagged: , , ,
  • 6 Comments
    • CitizenGeek
      CitizenGeek

      Hurrah! By the time I’m 18, us gays will have partnership rights here in Ireland!

      When countries that were once incredibly conservative, Catholic strongholds like Ireland and Spain are legalising partnership rights for gay couples, it certainly paints a good picture for the future!

      Ireland will become the first country that allows partnership rights to gay couples, but outlaws abortion. Most Irish don’t support the right to choice for pregnant women, but do support gay marriage. It’s odd, but I think it’s good that gay marriage isn’t a typical “left vs. right” thing over here.

      Apr 2, 2008 at 2:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • -M-
      -M-

      Don’t forget ‘traditional African’ countries like South Africa, Mr Citizengeek! :P

      But at the same time it is worrying to see such “inalienable” right being withheld in certain US states by the introduction of constitutional bans on Same-sex marriages, for example.

      Apr 2, 2008 at 3:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CitizenGeek
      CitizenGeek

      Well, it’s different with South Africa. As I understand, the government didn’t decide to legalise same-sex marriage there, they just got tripped up by the extensive human rights declarations they made following the fall of apartheid. So, basically, they were ‘forced’ to legalise it. Which is different to deciding on allowing it, which is what the Irish government has just done. Plus, I really don’t think S.A’s case represents any kind of trend in Africa as a whole; I honestly can’t see gay marriage being legalised in any African nation for a very long time :/

      But anyway, I want to broaden what I meant in my last comment: I mean to say that it’s promising to see that, in Ireland at least, gay marriage clearly isn’t considered a ‘Christian value’ issue like abortion is.

      Apr 2, 2008 at 4:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      CitizenGeek, yes and no.

      The ruling ANC’s election manifesto has included a statement of support for same-sex unions since 1994. However, ANC politicians – who are generally far more conservative than the party activists who serve as convention delegates – ignored the directive for over a decade.

      Whenever anybody asked about legalising same-sex unions, MPs would use the “we’re still studying the impact of such a change” excuse. By 2004, gay couples became so fed up with the legislative process (or lack thereof) that they sued the government. The Constitutional Court ordered the government to change the marriage law to include gays in December 2005.

      At which point, several opposition MPs suggested a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. The ANC rejected these proposals, but President Mbeki tried to introduce civil partnerships instead of same-sex marriage. That idea flopped when his own lawyers concluded that civil partnerships would likely be unconstitutional because it doesn’t provide ALL the rights of marriage. In November 2006, Mbeki finally relented and introduced legislation to allow full same-sex marriage.

      Apr 3, 2008 at 12:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CitizenGeek
      CitizenGeek

      Ah, I see! Thanks for clearing that up, John!

      Apr 3, 2008 at 2:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • pugwall
      pugwall

      Unfortunately it won’t be gay marriage. The legislation will give rights to co-haviting couples – so int is really watered down marriage for any couple – gay or straight. Have a look at the following passionate speach from Michael D Higgins – a member of the opposition in Ireland.

      Apr 5, 2008 at 12:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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