IRELAND: Marriages By September
Work will begin this week to give effect to the referendum decision to amend the Constitution with the first same-sex marriages likely to take place as early as September. Tánaiste Joan Burton said legislation would be brought before the Seanad and Dáil as early as possible, with the aim of getting it passed before the summer recess. “That would mean that we would be in a position to have same-sex marriage celebrations, civil ceremonies by, probably, September,” she told reporters at the Africa Day celebrations in the Phoenix Park. The Constitution will be formally amended in the coming days when President Michael D Higgins signs the Marriage Equality Bill into law, and a new sentence will be added to article 41 stating: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.” To give effect to the amendment, the Oireachtas will enact the Marriage Bill 2015, which will state in law the principle that being of the same sex is no longer an impediment to marriage. It will also make clear that religious solemnisers will not be obliged to solemnise the marriage of a same-sex couple, and that the same prohibited degrees of relationship will apply to same-sex marriages.RELATED: In the above map from Freedom To Marry, Finland is shaded red although their law doesn't go into effect until March 2017. Slovenia is shaded light green because although their legislature approved same-sex marriage in March 2015, their bill has not yet been signed into law due to a continuing battle to place the issue to a public referendum.
UPDATE: Move your wedding plans up a month.
The first same sex marriages in Ireland could take place as soon as August, earlier than originally thought. The Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has said she is conscious that people want to marry as soon as possible and she is working to make that happen. Fitzgerald promised that the necessary legislation will be enacted by the end of July. However, she is to allow the 90-day notification of intent of a civil partnership to be converted to a notification of marriage. This means anyone planning a civil partnership from August can instead get married. “My intention is to seek Government approval for the Marriage Bill 2015 in June with the aim of introducing the Bill into the Oireachtas immediately thereafter so that the legislation can be enacted before the summer recess,” said Minster Fitzgerald.