Department of Finance Promises Equal Treatment for Same-Sex Couples

18 May 2012

Leinster House

Discrepancies in Irish tax legislation to be changed following meeting with Senator Katherine Zappone

Today, Marriage Equality welcomed news that the Department of Finance and the Office of the Revenue Commissioners have committed to making the final changes necessary to equalise the treatment of same-sex civil partners with married couples for tax purposes. The announcement followed a meeting with Senator Katherine Zappone yesterday, in which the Senator highlighted discrepancies present in the current legislation, based on findings from Marriage Equality's report "Missing Pieces", which analysed the inequalities between civil partnership and civil marriage.

"We would like to extend our thanks to Senator Zappone for her tireless dedication to the issue of marriage equality," said Marriage Equality Director Moninne Griffith. "We welcome the continued commitment of the Minister for Finance, the Department of Finance and the Revenue Commissioners to ensuring that civil partners are treated the same as married couples in Irish tax legislation. It is a positive step forward, and means that same-sex couples will be able to enjoy greater financial security and protection."

Published last year, "Missing Pieces" identified 169 differences between civil partnerships and civil marriage, including discrepancies in tax legislation. The current Programme for Government is committed to amend the tax laws in respect of civil partnership, and to convene a Constitutional Convention to look at - among other issues - the provision of same-sex marriage. On Thursday, Marriage Equality addressed the Justice, Defence and Equality Committee with other LGBT organisations to mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Together they thanked the committee for its openness to equality issues, particularly around lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

"Yesterday's announcement marks another step forward in the campaign for equality for same-sex couples, our families and our children," added Ms Griffith. "With 73% popular support, and commitments from all political parties, civil marriage for same-sex couples is the next step. We would urge the Government to convene the Constitutional Convention without delay, and look forward to engaging with the Convention on this important issue."