Marriage Equality welcomes the end of a long journey

10 Nov 2015

Justice Minister signs commencement order for Marriage Act 2015

Following over ten years of campaigning to secure equal rights for same-sex couples, Marriage Equality has warmly welcomed the signing of the commencement order for the Marriage Act 2015 by the Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and the accompanying regulation under the Civil Registration Act 2004 by the Tanaiste Joan Burton. It means that the first weddings of same-sex couples will now take place within a matter of days.

Marriage Equality Chairwoman Gráinne Healy, who was present on the occasion, said:

“Today’s signing of the commencement order by Minister Fitzgerald marks a decade long journey’s end for Marriage Equality. From the early days of the KAL initiative in 2004 when we began to support Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan’s court case and then formed Marriage Equality. We have achieved our goal and LGBT couples can now finally marry the person they love. Thank you especially to the board and staff of Marriage Equality whose dedication and tenacity have led to achieving equality.”

Co-Director of Marriage Equality Moninne Griffith who worked with Marriage Equality since its establishment in 2007 said:

“After thousands of conversations, relationship building and engagement with politicians, the media and civil society, we have built a movement for social justice and a wide supporter base around the country both online and offline. We empowered ordinary people to become agents for change themselves.”

Six months on from the referendum that cleared the legal path for today’s significant event, former Marriage Equality Co-Director Andrew Hyland said:

“Today heralds a new era for all people living in Ireland with the resounding Yes vote of May 23rd finally becoming law, and couples throughout the land now being able to say ‘I do’. Every single person who voted Yes has created a more inclusive, loving and just society.”

Marriage Equality Board Member Ross Golden-Bannon said Ireland had a lot to be proud of:

"I hadn't realised that I felt like a second class citizen for years until I became an equal citizen. I feel a new pride in being Irish as our achievements act as a beacon to persecuted LGBT people across the globe."

For Senator Katherine Zappone and her spouse Ann Louise Gilligan, today means that the movement they started when they took a High Court case to have their marriage recognised in 2003 has reached its goal.


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Marriage Equality is a not for profit, single issue, national grassroots advocacy organisation whose goal is to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Ireland through the extension of civil marriage rights to same-sex couples.

The organisation was one of three civil society groups, with GLEN and ICCL, that formed the Yes Equality campaign, which helped to achieve a majority Yes vote in last May’s Marriage Equality referendum.