Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Civil Partnerships in Ireland

The Irish Civil Partnership Bill was signed into law by the President of the Republic yesterday. The bill was passed without a vote in the Dail (the lower house of the Irish parliament) and was supported in the Seanad (Senate) with only 4 dissenting votes, out of 52.

Irish Times Signing into law of new civil Bill welcomed

Some earlier reports:

According to RTE in this report Civil Partnership Bill passes the Seanad:

The Seanad rejected, without a vote, an amendment that would have allowed Registrars opt-out of presiding over civil partnership ceremonies.

The so-called ‘conscientious object’ amendment had been tabled by Independent Senator Rónán Mullen, however the matter was not put to a vote because not enough Senators called for one.

Senators spent three hours discussing the amendment, in total there were 77 amendments down for discussion.

Irish Times Bill’s success shows ‘society’s maturity’ and ‘Historic advance’ for equality as Civil Partnership Bill passed.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 20 July 2010 at 11:14pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: equality legislation


This is indeed Good News for all of us who believe in the Gospel of Love, though perhaps less welcome to those who believe that the Gospel of Love only applies to people they approve of. It's a step along the way to full equality, but it's a pretty significant step.

Inevitably it reflects the response of the Irish people to the findings of the Ryan and the Murphy Reports; the Catholic bishops who say it undermines the institution of marriage have apparently been ignored.

One wonders whether what Andrew Brown described as 'A Vatican PR catastrophe' in which the:

'upcoming revision of the code of Canon Law, which would make plain that child abuse is classified as amongst the gravest offences a priest can commit – that's the good news. Then you read on, and discover that the same revision will add to this list of dreadful offences the attempted ordination of women.'

has contributed to the disregard shown to the Bishops. In Ireland, of all places, apparently equating paedophilia to the ordaining of women must have hit a lot of very hot buttons...

Posted by: chenier1 on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 at 1:20am BST

I am delighted for the Republic and for its LGBT citizens who can now contract civil partnerships.

I thought three points were of particular interest and note. First the overwhelming support this bill received on all sides of both houses of parliament - to pass through the Dail without a vote being taken is equivalent to unanimous support, I guess.

Secondly, how good it was to hear the Justice minister hail the legislation as a sign of Ireland's being a Christian and pluralist society. Not all would have agreed. Evangelical Alliance Ireland supported it, but Roman Catholic bishop Christopher Jones attacked it, and a letter of protest from "Christian leaders" went out in May against its introduction. It was a shame that the only substantive opposition to it came from that quarter.

But it is also interesting to note, lastly, what little effect these protests had. Conservative Christian voices cut no ice at all in Ireland now it seems - yet the Justice minister was not prepared to allow those protests to monopolise the claim of faith.

All in all, heartening news - both for the legislation it introduces and for the confident way in which it Irish spoke of society's evolution.

Posted by: Jeremy Pemberton on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 at 8:20am BST

What heartening news from Ireland and the Dail. So clear a statement, and in many ways the 'coming of age' of the Irish nation, or Eire as I used to know it. I write this as my partner and myself have booked our civil ceremony here in Scotland. A time of great joy, fullfillment and wholeness. Praise be to God.

Fr John (Scotland)

Posted by: Fr John on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 at 12:07pm BST

Delighted our neighbours to the south have introduced Civil Partnerships with such unanimity and positivity. Now, let's get full marriage equality in both jurisdictions!

Posted by: Gerry Lynch on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 at 12:26pm BST

What excellent news. It makes me feel, however,that, living in the USA, I'm in a very backward country.

Posted by: Old Father William on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 at 5:00pm BST

Sorry, but I prefer the Catholic Ireland of De Valera.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 at 8:34pm BST

So, you preferred a country where the state colluded in clerical physical and sexual abuse of children on an industrial scale and tens of thousands of young people left the country every year because of economic failure and cultural repression?

Posted by: Gerry Lynch on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 at 11:53pm BST

No Gerry, I know that RIW is as sickened by the "industrial scale" abuse as the rest of us.

But, like many Roman Catholics of his type, Robert idealises the influence and partnership in government that the RCC enjoyed under De Valera. What was acceptable or even tolerable in an Ireland dominated by memories of both a war for independence and a bitter civil war no longer is - the bitterness and festering hatred that supported De Valera is now only preserved in the minds of a few extremists.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Thursday, 22 July 2010 at 9:27am BST

First I think its patronising and insulting to think that a country comes to maturity because of this. Irishmen and women could argue that the UK will only be mature, when it elects its head of sate.

De Valera's Ireland was a society devoid of materialism, avarice, pornography and divorce.
He inherited a state which had been an economic colony of the UK.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Thursday, 22 July 2010 at 5:38pm BST

It has been a long wait. I am glad to see it pass so resoundingly in both houses. The message of equality is spreading as, for example, in Argentina which has enacted marraiage equality.

Posted by: Craig Nelson on Thursday, 22 July 2010 at 9:47pm BST

"De Valera's Ireland was a society devoid of materialism, avarice, pornography and divorce."

Ha! Could only be written by someone who knows nothing of Ireland.

Posted by: Anglican on Thursday, 22 July 2010 at 10:49pm BST

"De Valera's Ireland was a society devoid of materialism, avarice, pornography and divorce."

Amazing it didn't survive, then.

You'd think God would protect such a place, if it was to His liking.

Then again, perhaps it is more appropriate to say that "De Valera's Ireland was a society *apparently* devoid of materialism, avarice, pornography and divorce."

Of course, I've heard the same said by aging Russians of Stalin's USSR.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Friday, 23 July 2010 at 4:53am BST

Thanks Martin.. but the abuse was going on in Protestant England as well. Its human sin.

One of the plus points of the Irish ban on contraception, is that it has the highest percentage of young people in western Europe.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Friday, 23 July 2010 at 6:59am BST

But dear Robert Im pretty sure these young people will be using condoms!

Posted by: Perry Butler on Friday, 23 July 2010 at 12:17pm BST

"Of course, I've heard the same said by aging Russians of Stalin's USSR."

And Mussolini made the trains run on time.

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Friday, 23 July 2010 at 2:55pm BST

I'm neither sociologist nor historian, but I do recall that James Joyce had a rather less, ummm... idealised view of Ireland. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man isn't a bad starting place - Dedalus encounters prostitutes, pornography........... Perhaps he made it all up?

Posted by: mynsterpreost (= David Rowett) on Friday, 23 July 2010 at 7:03pm BST

Oh yes, many of the younger generation will probably be using condoms, and Ireland will reap that in time. Just look at the whole liberal west, contracepting its self out of existence. A classic example being the Dutch, who brought in immigrants to fill the vacuum and now they are running scared of Muslims.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Friday, 23 July 2010 at 8:31pm BST
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