Main | Wednesday, December 09, 2009

LGBT Activists Object To Ireland's Proposed Civil Unions Bill

Ireland's civil unions bill is set to sail through with little opposition. Except from some gay activists who says it doesn't go far enough.
Despite the fact that the bill represents a sea-change in Irish attitudes to sexual orientation, many have complained that it still allows some discrimination. “The bill is clearly a stepping stone but does not go far enough,” says political commentator and election adviser Robert Cassidy. “It has failed to address the rights of the child within a civil partnership as described with the bill and that is a major flaw.”

MarrigEquality, a group that argues for full recognition of same-sex marriages, complains that the bill in fact institutionalizes discrimination. “Civil partnership without the option to marry sends a clear message out to the public that the government do not consider gay and lesbian relationships to be equal,” says the organization’s director Moninne Griffith. Similar laws in the UK are set to be tested as a heterosexual couple, Tom Freeman and Katherine Doyle, have threatened to take the British government to the European Court of Human Rights after they were refused a civil union on the basis that only homosexual couples could be registered.
Nine other EU member countries have civil union laws, including the UK. Full marriage equality exists in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.

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