Amnesty International: Irish Civil Partnerships Are Second-Class Citizenship
Amnesty International is issuing a stern condemnation of the Ireland's plan to offer civil partnerships for gay couples, saying the unions are for "second-class people."
Amnesty International Ireland executive director Colm O'Gorman is to describe civil partnerships as "a second-class form of marriage for what the government clearly feels is a second-class group of people" in a speech tonight in Belfast. In a statement, O'Gorman said: "At a time when countries around the world are moving forward, ending inequalities, we are enshrining discrimination in Irish law. This is not about the right to marry; it is about the right not to be discriminated against because of who you love. Failure to provide full marriage equality means that same-sex couples will not have full protection under the law." Describing the decision as "cowardly", he pointed to scare stories about "gay bogeymen" stealing children and also cited a recent newspaper columnist arguing that women will be more likely to have abortions rather than have children adopted out of fear they could end up with a gay couple.The Irish government says it will not consider same-sex marriage as it would require a change in the national constitution.