Civil Marriage Rights Must Be The Next Step

1 Jul 2010

Today, the Civil Partnership Bill will come one step closer to becoming enacted. Marriage Equality calls on the Government to move quickly and upgrade the Bill to give full Civil Marriage rights to same-sex couples, recognising them as a family unit and providing protections between them and any children they may have. Marriage Equality argue that Civil Partnership without a Civil Marriage option promotes discrimination towards lesbian and gay people.

Moninne Griffith, Director, Marriage Equality, said, "In Ireland, only a family based on marriage is recognised as a legal family unit. Civil partnership denies us a family status, ignores our children and will delay access to full and equal rights for years to come if the Government misses this opportunity to get it right the first time, like they did in Spain and Portugal."

She continued, "Iceland and Portugal have recently legislated for same-sex marriage and there is no reason why the Irish Government cannot do the same. The Government must see that lesbian and gay couples want and deserve equality. Over twenty-two thousand people marched at Dublin Pride this year calling for an end to the discrimination our families experience. Only civil marriage will resolve this issue."

Marriage Equality is a campaigning group working for equal marriage rights for same-sex couples in Ireland. The Government's 2006 Colley Report concluded that marriage equality is the only way to give equality to lesbians and gay men in Ireland. In contrast to the conclusions of its own report, the Government insists on progressing with a Civil Partnership Scheme which effectively denies lesbians and gay men equality and further stigmatises them as less than equal to heterosexual people.

Access to marriage in a civil ceremony will result in equal marriage rights and full legal and social recognition of same-sex relationships and protect the rights of children whose parents are lesbian and gay. Marriage Equality believes that it is within the Government's power to legislate for access to civil marriage for same-sex couples and calls on them to do so now. More information can be found on

Media Contact: Andrew Hyland, Platinum PR, 087 9088 322 /