|Legal status of same-sex unions|
* Not yet in effect, but automatic deadline set by judicial body for same-sex marriage to become legal
Same-sex marriage in the Republic of Ireland has been legal since 16 November 2015.A referendum on 22 May 2015 amended the Constitution of Ireland to provide that marriage is recognised irrespective of the sex of the partners. The measure was signed into law by the President of Ireland as the Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland on 29 August 2015. The Marriage Act 2015 , passed by the Oireachtas on 22 October 2015 and signed into law by the Presidential Commission on 29 October 2015, gave legislative effect to the amendment. Marriages of same-sex couples in Ireland began being recognised from 16 November 2015, and the first marriage ceremonies of same-sex couples in Ireland occurred on 17 November 2015.
The Constitution of Ireland is the fundamental law of the Republic of Ireland. It asserts the national sovereignty of the Irish people. The constitution falls broadly within the tradition of liberal democracy, being based on a system of representative democracy. It guarantees certain fundamental rights, along with a popularly elected non-executive president, a bicameral parliament based on the Westminster system, a separation of powers and judicial review.
The President of Ireland is the head of state of Ireland and the Supreme Commander of the Irish Defence Forces.
The Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution Act 2015 amended the Constitution of Ireland to permit marriage to be contracted by two persons without distinction as to their sex. Prior to the enactment, the Constitution was assumed to contain an implicit prohibition on same-sex marriage in the Republic of Ireland. It was approved at a referendum on 22 May 2015 by 62% of voters on a turnout of 61%. This was the first time that a state legalised same-sex marriage through a popular vote. Two legal challenges regarding the conduct of the referendum were dismissed on 30 July by the Court of Appeal, and the bill was signed into law by the President of Ireland on 29 August. The Marriage Act 2015 then amended marriage law to give effect to the constitutional amendment, which came into force on 16 November 2015, with the first same-sex marriage ceremony being held on 17 November 2015.
Civil partnerships, granted under the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 , gave same-sex couples rights and responsibilities similar, but not equal, to those of civil marriage.
A civil union is a legally recognized arrangement similar to marriage, created primarily as a means to provide recognition in law for same-sex couples. Civil unions grant most or all of the rights of marriage except the title itself. Around the world, developed democracies began establishing civil unions in the late 1990s, often developing them from less formal domestic partnerships, which grant only some of the rights of marriage. In the majority of countries that established these unions in laws, they have since been either supplemented or replaced by same-sex marriage. Civil unions are viewed by LGBT rights campaigners as a "first step" towards establishing same-sex marriage, as civil unions are viewed by supporters of LGBT rights as a "separate but equal" or "second class" status. While civil unions are often established for both opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples, in a number of countries they are available to same-sex couples only.
The Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 is an Act of the Oireachtas which allows same-sex couples to enter into civil partnerships. The act also provides rights for participants in long-term cohabiting relationships who have not entered into a civil partnership or marriage. There is no difference, in the act, in the rights and obligations accorded to opposite sex cohabiting couples or same sex cohabiting couples, however there are significant differences between the rights and obligations accorded to Civil Partners (same-sex) and those accorded to married couples (opposite-sex). The Act marks the penultimate legal step towards the recognition of same-sex partnerships; same-sex partners were afforded the option of marriage following the Marriage Act 2015.
A civil marriage is a marriage performed, recorded and recognised by a government official. Such a marriage may be performed by a religious body and recognised by the state, or it may be entirely secular.
The 2011 Irish census revealed 143,600 cohabiting couples, up from 77,000 in 2002. This included 4,042 in same-sex relationships, up from 1,300.
The Census of Ireland 2011 was held on Sunday, 10 April 2011. It was administered by the Central Statistics Office of Ireland and found the population to be 4,588,252 people. Before the census, the latest population estimate was published in September 2010 and calculated that the Irish population had been 4,470,700 in April 2010. The previous census took place five years earlier, on Sunday, 23 April 2006.
In December 2000, as part of the Second Programme of Law Reform, the Government requested the Law Reform Commission of Ireland to examine the rights and duties of cohabitees. In April 2004, the commission published a consultation paper with provisional recommendations on legal issues related to cohabiting relationships.The report included an analysis of issues for same-sex couples. Following responses, the final report was launched in December 2006 by Justice Minister Michael McDowell.
Michael Eoin McDowell is an Irish Independent politician and barrister who served as Tánaiste from 2006 to 2007, Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform from 2002 to 2007, Leader of the Progressive Democrats from 2006 to 2007 and Attorney General of Ireland from 1999 to 2002. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin South-East constituency from 1987 to 1989, 1992 to 1997 and 2002 to 2007. He has been a Senator for the National University of Ireland since April 2016.
The consultation proposals called for legal 'presumed' recognition of qualifying cohabiting relationships. Qualifying cohabitees were defined as unmarried same-sex or opposite-sex cohabiting couples in a 'marriage-like' relationships of 2 years (or 3 years in some cases), to be determined by the courts.
The commission reviewed such areas as property, succession, maintenance, pensions, social welfare and tax and recommended some changes in the law to provide rights for qualifying cohabitees. These rights would be applied by the court on application as distinct from the 'automatic' rights of legal marriage. The commission took care not to propose anything which would equate co-habitation with marriage due to concerns that such a proposal might violate the constitutional protection of the family.
The paper also included recommendations on other steps that cohabiting couples should take such writing wills, defining power of attorney, etc.
The all-party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution,re-established in December 2002, was conducting a review of the entire Constitution. In October 2004, it invited submissions on the Articles related to the family. Chairman Denis O'Donovan stated that it was examining these Articles to ascertain the extent to which they are serving the good of individuals and the community, with a view to deciding whether changes in them would bring about a greater balance between the two. Among the many issues raised by the committee were the definition of the family and the rights of same-sex couples to marry.
The Oireachtas, sometimes referred to as Oireachtas Éireann, is the legislature of Ireland. The Oireachtas consists of:
Denis O'Donovan is an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who has served as Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann since June 2016 and a Senator for the Agricultural Panel since 2011. He previously served as Leas-Chathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann from April 2011 to 2016. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Cork South-West constituency from 2002 to 2007.
The relevant provisions are Articles 40.3, 41 and 42
The committee held oral hearings in Spring 2005 and received an unexpectedly large volume of written submissions with at least 60% being opposed to any constitutional changes to marriage or the family,including from members of Pro Life Campaign, Family Solidarity and Mother and Child Campaign. The final report, the Tenth interim report of the committee, was launched by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern on 24 January 2006. It recommended no change to the constitutional definitions, as it expected such a referendum to fail. It suggested that there should instead be legislation for a civil partnership registration open to same-sex or opposite-sex couples which would confer succession, maintenance and taxation rights. Controversially, it also recommended that the 'presumed' recognition of cohabiting partners by the courts, as recommended by the Law Reform Commission, should also be legislated for, but only for opposite-sex couples. The basis for the limitation was that it would be easy for the courts to determine the validity of an opposite-sex relationship if there were children.
Pro Life Campaign (PLC) is an Irish pro-life advocacy organisation. Its primary spokesperson is Cora Sherlock. It is a non-denominational organisation which promotes anti-abortion views and defends human life at all stages from conception to natural death, and opposes abortion in all circumstances.
Family Solidarity is an Irish conservative advocacy group run by lay Catholics. Founded in 1984 by supporters of the campaign that led to the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland, it campaigned against the introduction of divorce. Nora Bennis was a member.
Bartholomew Patrick "Bertie" Ahern is a former Irish Fianna Fáil politician who served as Taoiseach from 1997 to 2008, Leader of Fianna Fáil from 1994 to 2008, Leader of the Opposition from 1994 to 1997, Tánaiste and Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht from November 1994 to December 1994, Deputy Leader of Fianna Fáil from 1992 to 1994, Minister for Industry and Commerce in January 1993, Minister for Finance from 1991 to 1994, Minister for Labour from 1987 to 1991, Government Chief Whip and Minister of State at the Department of Defence from March 1982 to December 1982 and Lord Mayor of Dublin from 1986 to 1987. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) from 1977 to 2011.
On 20 December 2005, Minister for Justice Michael McDowell announced that he was creating a working group in the Department of Justice to provide options for government consideration.This announcement came on the day after Belfast in Northern Ireland held the first of the new UK civil partnership registration ceremonies. The Government said that it would legislate following the report, but Taoiseach Bertie Ahern also said there might not be time to do so before the then upcoming election.
Chaired by former TD Anne Colley, this working group included GLEN, the gay rights lobby organisation, who said they expected a recommendation for civil marriage. The group facilitated a conference on the topic in May 2006, as input to its reports which was attended by experts from other countries which have introduced civil unions and same-sex marriage. During his speech, McDowell was interrupted by members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians opposed to the Government plans.
Initially to report by March 2006,the group presented its report to the Government in November 2006. They recommended that a civil partnership scheme would resolve most of the issues for same-sex and cohabiting couples, while providing less benefits than marriage. Offering civil marriage to same-sex couples would be open to constitutional challenge. They also recommended a legal presumption of partnership for couples which have lived together for three years, or have children together. No recommendations were made for couples in non-conjugal relationships due to lack of research. The cabinet reviewed the report, but no legislation was introduced before the 2007 general election, and in the intervening period the Government rejected opposition legislation, saying that legislation should await the Supreme Court appeal in Zappone v. Revenue Commissioners .
Since 2002, various statutory bodies have issued reports calling for recognition of homosexual and de facto heterosexual relationships.
Equality Authority: In January 2001, the authority produced a report on same-sex partnerships in Ireland,which it had commissioned to inform its own debate. In May 2002, the Equality Authority issued its formal report on equality for lesbians, gays and bisexuals, which highlighted the lack of recognition for same-sex couples in Irish law. In a departure from the norm, the report recommended legislative changes. These were to give legal recognition to same-sex couples, to provide equality with married couples in the areas of adoption, inheritance and taxation to eliminate discrimination.
NESF: In April 2003, the National Economic and Social Forum (NESF) published Report 27.The implementation of equality policies for gay, lesbian and bisexual people. The recommendations included calls for the Law Reform Commission to consider models to achieve equal rights for same-sex couples in its then upcoming report.
Human Rights Commission: In a report on de facto couples presented to the Justice Minister in May 2006,the Irish Human Rights Commission evaluated international standards in dealing with unmarried couples, and assessed the changes needed in Irish law from a human rights perspective. The Commission called for legal recognition of all de facto relationships, but did not call for civil marriage to be made available to same-sex couples. The IHRC has also released a report on the civil partnership scheme in January 2009.
Irish Council for Civil Liberties: Legal recognition of partnership rights and addressing inequalities in family law are a strategic objective of the ICCL for 2004–2009.In a December 2004 submission, they welcomed the Law Reform proposals, but said that registered unions were necessary. In a 2005 radio interview, the partnerships officer said that full civil marriage would not be likely to succeed in a referendum. However, their May 2006 report on the issue, "Equality for All Families" launched by ICCL founder Kader Asmal, called for legislated partnership registration and revisions to the constitutional provisions on civil marriage and the family, to give improved protection to children. This revision, which might require a referendum, should include a right to marry irrespective of sexual orientation.
Civil partnerships (Irish : páirtnéireacht shibhialta), introduced by the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 (Irish : An tAcht um Páirtnéireacht Shibhialta agus um Chearta agus Oibleagáidí Áirithe de chuid Comhchónaitheoirí 2010), gave same-sex couples rights and responsibilities similar, but not equal to, those of civil marriage. The ability to enter into a civil partnership ended on 16 November 2015. Constitutional protections granted to spouses, such as the spouse of a witness not being compelled to give evidence against their spouse in most cases, is one example of protections granted under civil partnerships. Spouses may further claim privilege in so far as necessary to protect the constitutional right to marital privacy. No such constitutional protections exist for civil partnerships. Further inequalities in relation to the family, immigration and other types of Irish law exist. The legislation provides rights for participants in long-term cohabiting relationships (opposite- or same-sex) who have not entered into a civil partnership or marriage. The following entry focuses primarily on the same-sex civil partnership aspect of the Act, as opposed to the cohabitation aspect.
The Civil Partnership Act came into effect on 1 January 2011.It had been expected that the first ceremonies would not take place until April 2011 due to a three-month waiting period required by law for all civil ceremonies. However, the legislation does provide a mechanism for exemptions to be sought through the courts, and the first partnership, which was between two men, was registered on 7 February 2011. While this ceremony was carried out publicly in the Civil Registration Office in Dublin, the mainstream media were not present.
It was not until 5 April 2011, the date originally anticipated as the date for the first ceremonies, that the media covered a civil partnership.This partnership ceremony, which was between Hugh Walsh and Barry Dignam, also took place in Dublin
Tax codes were amended in July 2011 under the Finance (No. 3) Act 2011 (Irish : An tAcht Airgeadais (Uimh. 3), 2011) to take account of civil partnership. The Act, in the main, is retrospective to 1 January 2011 and it creates virtual parity, in taxation matters, between civil partners on the one hand and married people on the other hand. The Social Welfare Code had already been amended in December 2010 to take account of civil partnership.
Civil partnerships discontinued on the day same-sex marriage legislation came into effect in November 2015, though civil partners are permitted to retain their relationship status, as there is no automatic upgrade from a civil partnership to marriage.
Certain foreign partnerships and same-sex marriages are recognised as civil partnerships since 13 January 2011. While Glenn Cunningham and Adriano Vilar are often cited as the first same-sex couple to have their civil partnership formally recognised in Ireland, in fact several hundred couples were recognised together at the exactly the same time. The couple formed a civil partnership at a ceremony in Northern Ireland in 2010.
Section 5 of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 states the criteria used to govern which classes of relationships can be recognised. They are:
The recognition is formally authorised by a statutory instrument, four of which in been passed: in 2010, listing 33 relationship types in 27 jurisdictions;in 2011, adding 6 relationships; in 2012, adding 4; and in 2013, adding 14.
The French PACS is not included, nor are some other legal relationships – for example, the Dutch civil partnership and some of the domestic partnerships in the United States.The reason is that these kinds of relationships can be dissolved by agreement between the parties (that is by both parties signing a document with a lawyer), not through the courts.
In March 2004, there was controversy in the Dáil surrounding a definition of 'spouse' when it was claimed that the Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Mary Coughlan was seeking to exclude non-married partners from social welfare legislation.The exclusion was a government response to a finding by the Equality Tribunal that a same-sex couple was discriminated against in travel privileges.
In 2004, the Civil Registration Act, which included a prohibition of same-sex marriage was passed. The act explicitly declared that there was an "impediment to a marriage" if "both parties are of the same sex".
In December 2006, the Irish High Court held in Zappone v. Revenue Commissioners that marriage as defined in the Irish Constitution was between a man and a woman and that there was no breach of rights in the refusal of the Revenue Commissioners to recognise foreign same-sex marriages.
|Life in Ireland|
In December 2004, Independent Senator David Norris, who had been central to the 1970s and 1980s Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform tabled a private member's bill on civil partnerships in the Seanad. The bill provided for the recognition of unmarried partnerships,both same-sex and opposite-sex cohabiting couples. It defined eligibility for a civil partnership and the process of registering a civil partnership. Rather than listing all the rights of a civil partner, it specified that all the rights of marriage would apply to anyone in a civil partnership. However, it specifically defined the dissolution process and the process for recognising foreign civil partnerships.
Norris said the bill was initiated "to protect the rights of adults who find themselves in relationships outside the conventional bonds of marriage" and "to meet the requirements of those who are making arrangements in their personal lives outside the formalities of marriage" and who also "need to be supported in the creation of mature stable relationships". Norris said he had done substantial research in order to achieve consensus on a moderate bill which took on board stated reservations.
The debate,including contributions from Justice Minister Michael McDowell, took place on 16 February 2005. The majority of speakers supported the principles behind the bill and complimented Senator Norris on his work. Some expressed reservations due to the constitutional protection of the family.
A government amendment designed to postpone a vote attracted much acrimony. This postponement was to allow for input from then ongoing investigations: the Law Reform Commission, the High Court Zappone v. Revenue Commissioners case on a Canadian marriage and the Constitutional Review Committee. Eventually, it was agreed to debate the bill but adjourn a vote indefinitely.
In December 2006, on the same day as the High Court judgment in Zappone, Brendan Howlin, an opposition Labour Party TD tabled a private member's civil unions bill in Dáil Éireann.
Similar to the Norris bill in its provisions, this bill defined a civil union as providing all the rights and duties as defined for marriage,but specifically limited civil unions to same-sex couples. It also provided for adoption by couples in such unions.
The debate,again including contributions from Justice Minister Michael McDowell, took place in February 2007. All speakers supported civil unions for same-sex couples and complimented Deputy Howlin on the bill. One expressed reservations about adoption. Minister McDowell claimed that the bill violated the constitutional provisions on marriage and the family. Government speakers said that civil unions needed to be introduced but that more time was needed to take account of the ongoing Supreme Court case and investigation work in the Department of Justice.
The Government amended the bill to delay debate for six months. As expected, the bill then fell when the Dáil was dissolved in the intervening period for the 2007 general election. Deputy Howlin said that the real reason for the delay was that the Government did not want to enact this type of social legislation in the face of an election.
Labour again brought their bill before the new house on 31 October 2007 but the Government again voted the bill down. The Green Party, now in Government also voted in opposition to the bill, with spokesperson Ciarán Cuffe arguing that the bill was unconstitutional but without giving a reasoning. The Government committed itself to introducing its own bill for registered civil partnerships by 31 March 2008,a date it failed to meet.
With the entering of the Green Party into Government in 2007, a commitment to legislation introducing civil partnerships was agreed in the Programme for Government in June of that year. On 24 June 2008, the Government announced the Heads of its Civil Partnership Bill.The bill was expected to take approximately 6 months to pass, with the legislation expected to come into effect by June 2009.
In response to the legislation, Government Senator Jim Walsh put forward a party motion to counter the bill.The Irish Times reported that around 30 unidentified backbenchers had signed the motion. One anonymous Senator was quoted as claiming that the motion "would have considerable support from the more conservative sections of the parliamentary party". Taoiseach Brian Cowen, responded by insisting that the registration of same-sex couples would not interfere with the constitutional status of marriage. Cowen noted that the bill had been drawn up in close consultation with the Attorney General and had been included in the programme for the Government. The motion was referred to the parliamentary party's justice committee on 1 July 2008 but a Fianna Fáil spokesperson was quoted as saying that there was "broad support" within the party for the legislation, while the Taoiseach and the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Dermot Ahern reaffirmed the constitutional compatibility of the law.
The announcement of the Heads was denounced as inadequate by the opposition parties Labour and Sinn Féin. Sinn Féin spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh commented that "the Government must do better".
The Government published the full Civil Partnership Bill on 26 June 2009 and said that it would be operational before the end of 2009.Dermot Ahern, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, introduced the bill's second stage on 3 December 2009. He said that consequent modifications to the finance and social welfare provisions would come into effect when the bill was passed. There was further second stage debate on the bill on 21 January 2010. The second stage finished on 27 January 2010. The committee stage of the bill was completed on 27 May 2010. The bill was passed in the final stage by the Dáil without a vote on 1 July 2010. The bill was passed in the final stage in the Seanad by a vote of 48–4, on 8 July 2010 and was signed by the President of Ireland on 19 July 2010. The Minister for Justice and Law Reform Dermot Ahern said: "This is one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation to be enacted since independence. Its legislative advance has seen an unprecedented degree of unity and support within both Houses of the Oireachtas."
The Minister for Justice signed a commencement order for the Act on 23 December 2010. The Act came into force on 1 January 2011. : An tAcht Leasa Shóisialaigh agus Pinsean 2010) was passed by the Dáil on 14 December and the Seanad on 17 December 2010.The date of commencement of the Act was dependent on further legislation in the areas of taxation and social welfare, which was enacted separately. The Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2010 (Irish
2,071 civil partnerships were registered in Ireland, between 2011 and 2015. 1,298 of them had been between men and 773 had been between women.
Following Ireland's legalisation of same-sex marriage in 2015 (see below), the ability to enter into a civil partnership was closed off. As of 16 November 2015, no further civil partnerships are granted in Ireland and existing civil partners only retain that status if they do not marry. Any civil partnership converted into a marriage is dissolved.
In November 2004, Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan were granted leave by the Ireland's High Court to pursue a claim to have their September 2003 Vancouver marriage recognised for the filing of joint tax returns in Ireland.The case was heard in October 2006. The judgment was delivered in December 2006 and found that the Irish Constitution had always meant for marriage to be between a man and a woman.
The case was appealed to the Supreme Court in February 2007.It came before the Supreme Court in 2012, although returned to the High Court to challenge different elements of law, specifically the Civil Registration Act of 2004 and Civil Partnership Act of 2010.
The coalition Government which took office in March 2011 convened a Constitutional Convention to discuss proposed amendments to the Constitution of Ireland, including plans to introduce same-sex marriage.On 10 July 2012, the Dáil, referred the issue of whether to make provision for same-sex marriage to the Constitutional Convention, to report back in a year. On 14 April 2013, the convention approved provisions allowing for same-sex marriage, to be discussed by the Oireachtas and be put to a public referendum. On 2 July 2013, the Constitutional Convention delivered the formal report to the Oireachtas, which had four months to respond.
On 5 November 2013, it was announced that a referendum to legalise same-sex marriage would be held in the first half of 2015.On 1 July 2014, Taoiseach Enda Kenny announced that the same-sex marriage referendum would take place in Spring 2015. The referendum was held on 22 May 2015.
With the signing into law of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 (Irish : An tAcht um Leanaí agus Cóngais Teaghlaigh, 2015) on 6 April 2015, same-sex couples have the ability to jointly adopt children and stepchildren, as well as be able to obtain parental recognition in assisted reproduction methods of child creation. On 18 January 2016, key provisions of the law (including spouses, stepparents, civil partners and cohabiting partners being able to apply to become guardians of a child or for custody) went into effect, following the signing of a commencement order by the Minister for Justice and Equality. Portions of the Act allowing for joint adoption, which never went into effect as no commencement order was signed, were repealed in 2017 after passage of the Adoption (Amendment) Act 2017, which legalised joint adoption by same-sex couples.
The amendment to the Constitution was moved on 21 January 2015.The referendum proposed to add the following text to Article 41 of the Constitution:
In March 2015, the Department of Justice and Equality published the general scheme of a Marriage Bill 2015 . The bill set out the changes to be made to legislation if the proposed amendment was approved. These changes included removing the existing legislative bar on same-sex couples marrying (though the wording of the amendment is self-executing and designed to invalidate it irrespective of legislative delay),addressing the situation of civil partnership, and updating terminology of existing legislation to reflect the new provision.
|Wikinews has related news: Ireland legalises same-sex marriage|
The Marriage Equality referendum was held on 22 May 2015. With votes from all 43 constituencies counted, the 62.07% "yes" vote assured the passage of the referendum.In the aftermath of the result, Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald stated that legislation would be brought through the Oireachtas by summer (i.e.: sometime in June or July 2015) to make same-sex marriage a reality. However, an unsuccessful legal challenge contesting the validity of the referendum delayed the legislation from going to Cabinet and the Oireachtas.
|Invalid or blank votes||13,818||0.71|
|Registered voters and turnout||3,221,681||60.52|
On 16 September 2015, following the High Court's rejection of the legal challenge contesting the validity of the referendum result, : An tAcht um Pósadh, 2015).Fitzgerald brought the Marriage Bill before cabinet. A spokesperson for the minister's department stated that "the aim is to have the bill enacted as quickly as possible, subject to the legislative process, so that the first same-sex marriages can take place this year." Under the legislation, the first same-sex marriages will be those of couples who convert a notification of their intention to register a civil partnership into a notification of their intention to marry. The Marriage Bill passed all stages of the legislative process in the Oireachtas on 22 October 2015. On 29 October 2015, the bill was signed into law by Presidential Commission, thus becoming the Marriage Act 2015 (Irish
Though most same-sex couples seeking to marry are required to give three months notice (as is the case for opposite-sex couples), same-sex couples already in a civil partnership are allowed to make use of a 5-day fast track provision in the legislation.
As of 16 November 2015, same-sex couples who married abroad have their marriages recognised in Ireland.The first marriage ceremonies of same-sex couples occurred the following day, on 17 November 2015.
On 5 May 2016, James Reilly, then Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, announced that the Irish Government had approved the publication of the Adoption (Amendment) Bill 2016. : An tAcht Uchtála (Leasú), 2017). The commencement order was signed by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, on 18 October and the law went into effect the following day.The bill would amend the Adoption Act 2010 and the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 and give legislative effect to the Thirty-first Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland (the children referendum). The purposes of the bill are to allow children to be adopted by their foster carers, where they have cared for the child for at least 18 months, and to allow two people regardless of marital status to adopt children, thus granting married same-sex couples the right to adopt. The bill also allows for the adoption of a child by civil partners and cohabiting couples and gives children a greater say in the adoption process, among many other reforms to the adoption system. The bill passed the Dáil on 30 November 2016, and received approval by the Seanad on 13 June 2017. The bill was signed into law by President Michael D. Higgins on 19 July 2017, becoming the Adoption (Amendment) Act 2017 (Irish
91 same-sex marriages were performed between 16 November and 31 December 2015, 47 of them were between men and 44 were between women.
A few days ahead of the anniversary of the Marriage Equality referendum on 22 May 2016, the Department of Social Protection released statistics on the number of same-sex marriages that had taken place since November 2015. A total of 412 same-sex marriages were performed in those six months.
1,082 same-sex couples wed in Ireland in the one year following the Marriage Act's entry into force, averaging 21 same-sex weddings a week. 450 of these marriages were performed in Dublin, 93 in Cork, 56 in Wicklow and 48 in Kildare. The counties with the fewest same-sex marriages were Longford with two, followed by three in Roscommon and five in Leitrim.
1,056 same-sex marriages took place in 2016, the first full year when same-sex couples could get married. 606 of these were male unions and 450 were female.
Following the decriminalisation of "buggery" in 1993, gay rights was not a high-profile issue in Ireland. From 2001 however, Irish media increasingly covered international developments in the same-sex partnerships issue.This has included coverage of reports on the issue, legal cases taken by Irish same-sex couples, surrogate parenthood, adoption, extra-legal same-sex unions, blessings and the foreign partnerships of Irish politicians. There was extensive coverage of the 2005 introduction of civil partnerships by the British Government, which applies to Northern Ireland.
Irish legislators began to comment publicly from 2003,some tentatively suggesting legislation, and some referring to Catholic teachings. Among the general public, reaction was favourable, with a 2005 online poll showing most respondents seeing some recognition as inevitable and acceptable. More rigorous public polls taken during 2006 showed an increasing majority of the population, up to 80%, supporting the introduction of some partnership rights for same-sex couples, with a slim majority favouring full marriage. The numbers in favour of adoption by same-sex couples were lower but less clear.
Some public and religious figures, including bishops in the Catholic Church,and in the Church of Ireland also proposed legal recognition in 2004, but in a form different from marriage.
At the 2002 general election only the manifestos of the Green Party and the Labour Party explicitly referred to the rights of same-sex couples,but from 2004 all political parties, including the then Fianna Fáil/Progressive Democrat Government, produced policies or made statements in favour of varying forms of recognition. In 2004, Fine Gael was the first party to launch an explicit policy document supporting civil partnerships.
In the run-up to the 2007 general election, the manifestos of all parties supported civil unions for same-sex couples with Sinn Féin and the Green Party supporting full civil marriage.All parties ran advertisements in GCN (Gay Community News) with commitments to same-sex couples. In 2012, Sinn Féin sought to provide opportunities to bring to the fore same-sex marriage at local political level by introducing motions in support of same-sex marriage at city and county councils level.
Existing and new gay organisations such as GLEN, GLUE and Noise began specifically campaigning for recognition in 2006.
As of November 2013, all parties in the Dáil support same-sex marriage: the Labour Party,the Green Party, the Socialist Party, Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil, and Fine Gael.
A survey carried out in 2008 showed that 84% of Irish people supported civil marriage or civil partnerships for same-sex couples, with 58% (up from 51%) supporting full marriage rights in registry offices. The number who believed same-sex couples should only be allowed to have civil partnerships fell in the same period, from 33% to 26%.
A public survey in October 2008 revealed 62% of adults would vote "Yes" in a referendum to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples. A breakdown of the results showed that support was strongest among younger people and in urban areas. Women were more supportive at 68% compared to 56% of men. There was slightly less support for same-sex couples being given the right to adopt. A total of 58% of those under 50 believed same-sex couples should be able to adopt, falling to 33% among the over-50s. A total of 54% believed the definition of the family unit in the Irish Constitution should be changed to include same-sex families.
A survey commissioned by MarriagEquality in February 2009 indicated that 62% of Irish people supported same-sex marriage and would vote in favour of it if a referendum were held.
In September 2010, an Irish Times/Behaviour Attitudes survey of 1,006 people showed that 67% felt that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. This majority extended across all age groups, with the exception of the over-65s, while 66% of Catholics were in favour of same-sex marriage. Only 25% disagreed that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, opposition that was concentrated among older people and those in rural areas. In terms of same-sex adoption, 46% were in support of it and 38% opposed. However, a majority of females, 18- to 44-year-olds, and urban dwellers supported the idea. The survey also showed that 91% of people would not think less of someone who came out as homosexual, while 60% felt the recent civil partnership legislation was not an attack on marriage.
A poll in March 2011 (by the Sunday Times/RED C) showed that 73% of people supported allowing same-sex marriage (with 53% "agreeing strongly" with the idea), while 60% felt that same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt children.
A poll in January 2012 (by RED C for the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform) showed that 73% of voters supported the idea of same-sex marriages being recognised in the Irish Constitution.
A late 2012 poll by Millward Brown Lansdowne showed that 75% would vote in favour of extending marriage to same-sex couples.
A poll in November 2013 (by RED C for Paddy Power) showed that 76% of voters intended to support the introduction of same-sex marriage in any referendum, with 18% opposed and 6% undecided (with the undecideds excluded the ratio was 81% support, 19% against). Support was highest among women (85%), those under 44 (87%), Labour supporters (96%) and those living in Dublin and commuter counties (83%).
A poll in February 2014 (by RED C for RTÉ's Prime Time and The Sunday Business Post ) showed that 76% of voters would vote "Yes" to the introduction of same-sex marriage in any referendum.
A poll in April 2014 by The Irish Times and Ipsos MRBI found that 67% would vote in favour of same-sex marriage and 21% against, with 12% undecided. When the undecided were excluded, 76% were in favour and 24% against.
The 2015 Eurobarometer found that 80% of Irish people thought that same-sex marriage should be allowed throughout Europe, 15% were against.
A Pew Research Center poll, conducted between April and August 2017 and published in May 2018, showed that 66% of Irish people supported same-sex marriage, 27% were opposed and 7% didn't know or refused to answer.When divided by religion, 87% of religiously unaffiliated people, 80% of non-practicing Christians and 43% of church-attending Christians supported same-sex marriage. Opposition was 20% among 18-34-year-olds.
Recent polls, tabulated
|Date||Yes||No||Don't know||Polling org.||Commissioned by||References|
|25 April 2015||72||20||8||Red C||Sunday Business Post|
|17 April 2015||77||14||9||Amárach Research||RTÉ - Claire Byrne Live|
|27 March 2015||74||26||N/A||IPSOS/MRBI||The Irish Times|
|24 January 2015||77||22||Red C||Sunday Business Post|
|8 December 2014||71||17||12||IPSOS/MRBI||The Irish Times|
|October 2014||76||24||N/A||IPSOS/MRBI||The Irish Times|
|April 2014||67||21||12||IPSOS/MRBI||The Irish Times|
|20 February 2014||76||19||5||Red C||Sunday Business Post / Prime Time|
|7 November 2013||76||18||6||Red C||Paddy Power|
|November 2012||53||30||17||IPSOS/MRBI||The Irish Times|
Support is strongest among younger voters.Sinn Féin and Labour voters are somewhat more in favour than Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. Among those intending to vote "Yes" in January 2015, 33/77 had "some reservations about same-sex marriage", and 29/77 had "some reservations about adoption by gay couples". A poll conducted a week before the referendum by The Irish Times showed that women supported same-sex marriage more than men.
Same-sex marriage is the marriage of two persons of the same sex or gender, entered into in a civil or religious ceremony.
LGBT adoption is the adoption of children by lesbian, gay, bisexual ,transgender (LGBT+) people. This may be in the form of a joint adoption by a same-sex couple, adoption by one partner of a same-sex couple of the other's biological child, or adoption by a single LGBT+ person. Joint adoption by same-sex couples is legal in twenty-seven countries as well as several subnational jurisdictions and dependent territories. Furthermore, some form of step-child adoption is legal for same-sex couples in five countries. Given that constitutions and statutes usually do not address the adoption rights of LGBT persons, judicial decisions often determine whether they can serve as parents either individually or as couples.
Marriage is a devolved issue in the different parts of the United Kingdom, and the status of same-sex marriage is different in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Same-sex marriage is recognised and performed in England, Scotland, and Wales, but not Northern Ireland.
Jim Walsh is an Irish Fianna Fáil politician and member of Seanad Éireann between 1997 and 2016.
Slovenia has recognized partnerships since 24 February 2017. These provide same-sex partners with all the legal rights of marriages, with the exception of joint adoption and in vitro fertilisation. Previously, Slovenia had recognized the more limited registrirana partnerska skupnost for same-sex couples since 23 July 2006, which gave same-sex partners access to one another's pensions and property.
Attitudes in Ireland towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people are regarded as among the most liberal in the world. Ireland is notable for its transformation from a country holding overwhelmingly conservative attitudes toward LGBT issues to one holding overwhelmingly liberal ones in the space of a generation. In May 2015, Ireland became the first country to legalise same-sex marriage on a national level by popular vote. The New York Times hailed the victory as putting Ireland at the "vanguard of social change". Since July 2015, transgender people in Ireland can self-declare their gender for the purpose of updating passports, driving licences, obtaining new birth certificates, and getting married. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity have been legal in the state since 1993. Government recognition of LGBT rights in Ireland has expanded greatly over the past two decades. Homosexuality was decriminalised in 1993, and most forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation are now outlawed. Ireland also forbids incitement to hatred based on sexual orientation.
Same-sex marriage in Australia has been legal since 9 December 2017. Legislation to allow same-sex marriage, the Marriage Amendment Act 2017, passed the Australian Parliament on 7 December 2017 and received royal assent from the Governor-General the following day. The law came into effect on 9 December, immediately recognising overseas same-sex marriages. The first same-sex wedding under Australian law was held on 15 December 2017. The passage of the law followed a voluntary postal survey of all Australians, in which 61.6% of respondents supported same-sex marriage.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Slovenia may face some challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents, though the laws concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens (LGBT) have evolved considerably over time.
Same-sex marriage is not legal in Taiwan. However, on 24 May 2017, the Constitutional Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry under the Constitution and that the Legislative Yuan has two years to amend the marriage laws to align with the Constitution. If this is not done, same-sex couples will be able to have their unions registered as marriages and be treated as such by law. At present, a number of jurisdictions, including the nine largest cities and nine other counties, covering 94% of the country's population, allow same-sex couples to register as partners, though the rights afforded by such registrations are less than marriage.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights are widely diverse in Europe per country. 14 out of the 25 countries that have legalised same-sex marriage worldwide are situated in Europe. A further fifteen European countries have legalised civil unions or other forms of more limited recognition for same-sex couples. Additionally, Armenia, Estonia and Lithuania recognise legally performed same-sex marriages overseas, but do not perform them. The constitutions of Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine recognise marriage only as a union of one man and one woman, and thus ban same-sex marriage.
The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) was an Irish gay rights group, based in Dublin, Ireland. The organisation was founded in 1988 by Kieran Rose and Christopher Robson. GLEN focused on achieving change in legislation and social policy that would achieve full equality and inclusion for lesbian, gay and bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Ireland, and protection from all forms of discrimination. The board of directors comprised Margot Slattery (chair), Simon Nugent; Muriel Walls, Séamus Dooley and Dr. Fergus Ryan. In May 2017 it was announced that GLEN was to close.
LGBT life on the island of Ireland is made up of persons who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or otherwise.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights in Scotland are generally in line with the rest of the United Kingdom, which have evolved extensively over time and are now regarded as some of the most progressive in Europe. In both 2015 and 2016, Scotland was recognised as the "best country in Europe for LGBTI legal equality".
Same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland is not legally recognised, with same-sex marriages performed outside Northern Ireland recognised as civil partnerships within its borders.
The Colley Report is a 2006 paper on same-sex marriage and civil partnership produced for the Irish Government. Formally known as the Options Paper on Cohabiting Couples, (2006), the report was named after its chair, Anne Colley.
The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 amended family law in Ireland to extend parental rights and responsibilities to non-traditional families. It simplifies adoption rights for the spouse or civil partner of a biological parent, and for a long-term domestic partner. It also addresses donor-assisted reproduction.
The Marriage Act 2015 is an act of the Oireachtas which provides for same-sex marriage in Ireland. The act gives legislative effect in statute law to the Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland, which mandates such provision. It was introduced on 15 September 2015 and signed into law on 29 October 2015, and commenced on 16 November 2015.