Same sex marriage is now legal everywhere in the United Kingdom except Northern Ireland, so there’s pressure on the government to act, especially after the rest of Ireland’s referendum victory recently.
“Civil partners will also be able to marry one another without having to formally dissolve their civil partnership first – though of course the civil partnership will dissolve automatically once the marriage takes place”.
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald brought the Marriage Bill 2015 before her colleagues this morning.
Yes voters celebrate at the Central Count Centre in Dublin, as the result of the referendum is announced which showed that Ireland as the country overwhelmingly voted in favour of gay marriage.
“I hope this legislation can be enacted as soon as possible so that the first same-sex marriages can take place before the end of the year”.
Civil partnership will, in general, be closed to new couples.
While the bill legalises gay marriage, it also states that religious solemnisers will not be compelled to perform ceremonies that are not in keeping with their religion.
Same-sex couples that have already registered a notification to enter into a civil partnership will be able to convert this to a notification of their invention to marry.
Foreign marriages between same sex couples will be recognised under Irish law as marriages.
In a statement John Lyons, TD and gay rights activist, said, “As a society, we have travelled a long way on the road to equality”.
“We fundamentally disagree with Labour’s suggestion that the on-going and unlawful denial of the right to marry for LGBT people in Northern Ireland should or could be resolved by a public referendum”, says a joint statement by several queer campaign groups, who are deeply concerned about anti-gay forces which would spring up before the national vote.
A fee of €200 must be paid when couples notify a Registrar of their intention to get married in Ireland, but those in already civil partnerships will pay now €50.
The bill was brought before the Cabinet on Wednesday and the first nuptials could happen before the end of 2015, the government has confirmed.