Inequality will remain if gay & lesbian people are not allowed to marry
1 Apr 2008
Speaking in response to media reports this morning that the Government is finalizing its civil partnership legislation, MarriagEquality Co-Chair Co-Chair, Grainne Healy, said that only by allowing gay and lesbian people to marry and have all the rights and benefits received automatically by married heterosexual couples will equality be achieved for gay and lesbian couples.
"While any legislation in this area - where hitherto there has been none - is welcome, if these reports are true, it is of great concern that gay and lesbian people will continue not to have the same rights as heterosexual couples.
"MarriagEquality will reserve judgment on the scheme until we have a chance to analyse in detail what the Government is proposing. But we are adamant that the only way to achieve equality for gay and lesbian people is to allow them to marry in a civil registry office.
"We know there is growing public support for this right as demonstrated in yesterday's Lansdowne poll that showed 58% of people in favour of civil marriage.
"Moreover, today's media reports are unclear as to whether or not gay and lesbian couples will be given joint legal rights over children they parent and raise. Failing to address this important issue will leave both children and their parents outside the law.
"Once more yesterday's Lansdowne findings showed no public barriers to legislating in this area, with an overwhelming 86% of people agreeing that children of gay and lesbian parents should have the same family rights as other children.
"We have been saying that there is a demand for marriage equality for gay and lesbian people. This national poll, carried out by a respected research company, is data based proof of our own anecdotal evidence.
"While civil partnership will indeed satisfy the needs of some couples, it will not satisfy the needs of couples who want to get married. The Government has been saying that Irish people are not ready for civil marriage for gay and lesbian couples. This poll and previous polls clearly indicate otherwise, however."
The Lansdowne poll for MarriagEquality, which took place March 4-16, surveyed a representative sample of 1,000 people throughout the country.
Consistent Public Support - The Story So Far
Research by Lansdowne Market Research for MarriagEquality
84% in favour of civil marriage or civil partnership.
58% believe that gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to marry in a registry office.
26% believe that gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to form civil partnerships.
61% agree that it is unfair that gay men and women are excluded from getting married in a registry office.
Research by Lansdowne Market Research for GLEN
84% in favour of civil marriage or civil partnership
51% believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
33% believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to form civil partnerships.
Sunday Tribune Opinion Poll carried out by Millward Brown IMS
64% believe that same-sex couples should have the same legal and financial rights as married couples.
Irish Examiner Poll carried out by RedC
51% of the national population is in favour of gay unions/marriages.