Signing into law of new civil Bill welcomed
THE SIGNING into law yesterday of the Civil Partnership Bill was welcomed across the political spectrum and also by groups that have campaigned for legal recognition for same-sex couples in Ireland.
The Bill was signed into law by President Mary McAleese at Áras an Uachtaráin yesterday morning.
Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern said it was “one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation to be enacted since independence”.
The Green Party’s justice spokesman Trevor Sargent also warmly welcomed the development, describing it as a significant step forward and a stepping stone towards greater equality in society.
While the Bill has now been enacted, it cannot fully commence until commensurate changes take place in social welfare, tax and pensions legislation.
Those changes are likely to be made in the Finance Bill and Social Welfare Bill drafted following December’s budget.
The changes will pave the way for the first civil partnership registrations to take place in January next year.