MarriagEquality is an initiative working for civil marriage for gay and lesbian people in Ireland.
What will MarriagEquality do?
We will build a broad base of support that seeks full legislative equality for gay and lesbian couples.
But hasn’t the Government said it is going to legislate for this?
No. All the Government has done is commit to Civil Partnership legislation.
But aren’t civil partnerships the same as marriage?
No. Civil partnerships are not marriage. They are a separate and unequal institution that does not give the same rights to gay and lesbian people as marriage provides for heterosexual couples.
Isn’t the Government opposed same sex marriage?
The Government’s own “Colley Report” commissioned in 2006 to examine partnership options clearly stated that marriage is the only option that would provide full equality for same sex couples.
But isn’t same sex marriage against the Constitution?
MarriagEquality shares the opinion of some of Ireland’s finest constitutional lawyers who see no constitutional impediment to providing marriage equality. There is no substance to the argument that full equality for same sex couples is unconstitutional.
Is Ireland ready for same sex marriage?
There are many same sex couples living in Ireland who have already been married in other countries, some of whom are raising children in loving and safe families. Same sex marriage is already a reality in this country. Our legislators need to catch-up.
How many couples are there?
The 2006 census revealed that there are over 2,000 co-habiting same sex couples in Ireland. These couples are currently denied a huge range of legal benefits and protections in terms of taxation, maintenance, healthcare and immigration that are automatically granted to heterosexual couples when they marry. This situation simply isn’t fair.
And how would the Government go about introducing same-sex marriage?
There are a number of options:
- they could introduce new legislation for full marriage equality
- they could change the Civil Registration Act that covers civil marriage to include same sex couples
- they could hold a referendum to change Bunreacht na hEireann
What’s the situation in other countries?
In the European Union same sex marriage exists in the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. In addition Canada, South Africa, and Massachusetts in the United States have introduced full marriage equality.
Yes. The Spanish Government decided to introduce full marriage equality because they realised that half measures would mean simply returning again and again to the issue. Instead they dealt with it in one go by providing full equality from the start.
And what about children?
The reality is that there already are same sex couples in Ireland lovingly raising and providing for children. But these families are denied the same rights as heterosexual couples. In fact, under the current system a child parented by a same sex couple does not have the right to have his or her parents recognised by the law.
Surely it is a step too far to allow same sex couples to adopt?
Such are the – justifiable - rigours of the Irish adoption system that very few adoptions take place in this country. The majority of Irish adoptions are of parents adopting their own children. It is scare-mongering to say there will be a raft of adoptions of children by same-sex couples once full marriage equality is introduced. But it is also unfair to prevent same sex couples from applying to adopt and provide a loving home for children.
121 Baggot Street Lower, Dublin 2
Tel: 01 659 94 59