Civil Partnerships For Ireland
The Irish government moved a step closer Tuesday to legalizing civil partnerships for same-sex couples, unveiling details of the proposed legislation.The new partnership law will be very similar to that already in effect in the UK.
The bill to be presented to Parliament later this year will allow same-sex couples over the age of 18 to enter into civil partnerships. They will not be open to opposite-sex couples. Nor will they be available to other pairs such as siblings in symbiotic financial relationships.
Gay and lesbian couples intending to have civil partnerships will have to give 90-days notice of their wish to register. The legislation covers areas such as pensions and property rights for partners and it provides for ending relationships which fail. Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern said that despite a strong lobbying effort by gays for full marriage, the Irish Constitution prevents redefining marriage. A clause in the constitution says the government must protect the institution of marriage. Eamon Ryan of the Green Party said Greens would support the bill but had hoped that the legislation had gone further.