Ireland’s Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, made quite a statement yesterday when he promised to expand Irish gay rights. Opponents, however, are calling “bullshit” on the Toisearch’s “empty promises”.
Appearing at the reopened Dublin gay center, Ahern told an enthusiastic crowd:
This Government is committed to providing a more supportive and secure legal environment for same-sex couples. Taking into account the Options Paper prepared by the Colley Group, and the pending Supreme Court case, we will legislate for civil partnerships at the earliest possible date in the lifetime of this Government.
The Supreme Court case stems from a lower court’s refused to recognize our favorite Irish lesbian couple, Ann Louise Gilligan and Katherine Zappone’s Canadian wedding.
Ahern’s words may give Gilligan and Zappone hope, but the opposition have the lowest hopes possible: Independent explains:
Labour’s justice spokesman Brendan Howlin said the Fianna Fail-PD coalition voted down a private member’s bill he introduced in the Dail last year that would legalise civil unions amongst gay couples.
“We regard the actions of the last government, especially (former Justice Minister Michael) McDowell as being disingenuous to promise yet not deliver.”
“The Civil Union bill would be law by now if the Government had not rejected it,” he said.
It sounds to us as if both sides are playing politics – and the gays are getting tossed…