Tag Archives: Ireland

Poll finds Irish support for gay marriage at 73% ( PinkNews.co.uk)

Is full marriage equality on the way for Ireland? The signs are encouraging:

“Equal marriage advocates have welcomed a poll which puts public support for allowing gay couples to marry at 73%.
The poll, by Red C, showed nearly three quarters of those asked said they would agree with the statement: “Same sex marriage should be allowed in the Constitution”.
The results were presented to Ireland’s Oireachtas yesterday in a report prepared for the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on the last Constitutional referendum.
Kieran Rose, Chair of Ireland’s Gay and Lesbian Equality Network said: “The poll confirms the openness of Irish people and their support for further critically important progress to achieving equality for lesbian and gay people.”

Meanwhile, a powerful opinion piece at the Irish Examiner says unequivocally that civil partnerships are no longer enough: “It’s time!”

CIVIL partnerships were always a first step, not a full stop, but it is remarkable the way public opinion has now swung so rapidly behind the move to gay-marriage equality.
The latest poll on the subject shows an overwhelming 73% back amending the Constitution to give same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual ones.
While civil partnerships offer some guarantees for same-sex couples, such as stopping homophobic relatives barring lifelong partners from their loved one’s death bed, in practice it cements a status as second-class citizens within a society in which all should be equal.
The change to marriage equality is about the State and its responsibility to recognise its citizens as equals.
This is about people who want to have their lifelong emotional commitment to one another recognised by the State that they fund as taxpayers.
If South Africa can do it, there is no reason Ireland cannot follow Canada and Belgium, to name but two others, and let same-sex couples have the civil rights to which they are entitled.
– full article at  Irish Examiner 

Enhanced by Zemanta

"Wedding" Bells for Irish Couples

“Newly weds” Hugh Walsh and partner Barry

Couple happy to play part in Ireland’s ‘big step’ 

WHEN BARRY Dignam and Hugh Walsh first met almost 20 years ago, homosexuality was still illegal; neither man envisaged then a time where their relationship would be legally recognised by the Irish State.
Yet today, 17 years after they started going out, they will become the public face of civil partnership in Ireland as one of the first couples to be joined under legislation which came into effect on January 1st.
Full report at Irish Times

(Irish Times)

What Irish Catholics Believe

This is getting monotonous, but it must be stated again. What Catholics believe and practice on matters of sexual ethics, as a matter of empirical fact, is simply not what the (nominally) celibate bishops in their ivory towers would like us to believe, or falsely proclaim as “Catholic” belief, when it is in fact no more than Vatican doctrine.
The latest evidence, in a long line of similar research, comes from Ireland. This makes it all the more notable, given that country’s long reputation until recently as a “priest-ridden country”, where the dictates of the clergy meant that even contraception was forbidden by law, and people would journey across the island to Belfast just to buy condoms.
In a marked turnaround, the Irish people do not simply tolerate pre-marital sex, they believe it is desirable for young couples to spend time living together before committing to marriage. The bishops, on the other hand, maintain that all sex outside of marriage and not “ordered to procreation” is sinful, and presumably support their American colleagues’ pronouncement that cohabitation before marriage, like homosexuality, is gravely disordered.
The Irish politicians have come a long way in standing up to moral bullying by the church officials, notably over the investigations into clerical sexual abuse, but have some way yet to go. They have succeeded in passing civil partnership legislation, which will come into effect early;next year, but lag well behind their voters. Fully two thirds would support full marriage equality.
From the Irish Times:

Two-thirds support gay marriage, poll finds

JUST OVER two-thirds of people (67 per cent) believe gay couples should be allowed to marry, according to an Irish Times /Behaviour Attitudes social poll.
It is one of a series of findings in a poll on “sex, sin and society” that indicates Irish people have adopted a more liberal attitude towards personal relationships and sexual behaviour.
In addition showing strong support for gay marriage, a significant majority (60 per cent) also believe civil partnerships for gay couples will not undermine the institution of marriage. A large majority (91 per cent) also say they would not think less of a person if they revealed they were gay or lesbian.
These numbers are consistently high across most age groups, as well as in urban and rural areas.
People are divided, however, on whether gay couples should be allowed to adopt children. Some 46 per cent support such a move, while more than a third (38 per cent) are opposed. Younger people, urban dwellers and women are more likely to be supportive of the idea.
The findings also indicate there is a growing consensus that living together before marriage is likely to result in a more stable marriage. A majority (57 per cent) believe cohabitation is a positive development. This view is reflected consistently across most age groups.
Even higher numbers (79 per cent) do not regard sex before marriage as immoral. When broken down by religion, most Catholics – again, 79 per cent – did not see anything wrong with the practice.
Just 15 per cent, mostly older people or those living in rural areas, see it as immoral.
There are also significant differences across the generations in attitudes towards issues such as celibacy and virginity. In total, just under half (48 per cent) of people admire those who choose to be celibate for moral or religious reasons.
A majority of older people (62 per cent) aged 65 or more are much more likely to admire celibacy, while this falls to well under half among younger and middle-aged people.
Even among Catholics, respondents are just as divided. While 51 per cent of Catholics admire celibacy, the remainder either do not (33 per cent), or say they do not know (16 per cent).
Not all the poll findings point to increasingly liberal attitudes, however. The average age most people feel teenagers should begin to have sex at is 18 years, above the current age of consent which is 17.

Survey reveals more relaxed attitude to sex
Two-thirds support gay marriage, poll finds

Enhanced by Zemanta

Irish Civil Partnership Bill Signed.

Irish President Mary McAleese has signed into law the provision of Civil Partnerships, which will provide Irish gay and lesbian couples with a legal status almost identical to that of heterosexual married couples – but not adoption rights. This is very similar to the UK Civil Partnership legislation. That too does not cover adoption, which was provided for separately.

In this deeply Catholic country, the legislation was strongly opposed by the Catholic bishops – who lost badly, It is notable that this legislation was not just passed, but warmly welcomed by the Justice Minster as “one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation …  since independence”  

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.

-(Full report from the Irish Times)

Marriage Equality, Ireland: Civil Partnerships Approved in Dáil

In Ireland, the Dáil (the parliamentary lower house) has passed the long-expected Civil Partnership Bill, without requiring a vote, and to applause from the public gallery. It is expected that it will pass in the Seanad within a fortnight or so, and is most likely to be signed in the autumn, to come into effect in the new year. The legislation is modelled on the existing British law, which gives couples virtually the same standing in law as married couples, except for the name. In Ireland, the law explicitly does not include adoption rights. There is also provision for a divorce equivalent, on exactly the same terms as existing divorce law.
This will leave Italy and Malta as the only countries in Western Europe with no provision for any form of legal recognition for same sex-partnerships. Resistance in Italy has come on the back of strenuous opposition but the Catholic bishops, but as the Irish example has shown, Church resistance elsewhere has come to nothing. How much longer can Italy hold out?
This will be the state of partnership recognition in Europe after the Irish law takes effect:
(Dark blue – full equality; Light blue – civil unions; Red – constitutional restriction to opposite sex couples only; Yellow – under review)