Marriage Rights for Gay Couples in Ireland

image via Passport

image via Passport

The LGBT community has crossed another milestone in the County of Dublin, Ireland, which saw an overwhelming vote in favor of extending marriage rights to gay couples at a constitutional convention held on Monday, April 15. Recommendations to amend the constitution allowing gay marriages received a whopping 79-percent of the vote, with only 19 percent against and the remainder with no opinion.

The results, which gay-marriage supporters hailed as “a landmark on the road towards equality for gay couples,” spurred an outpour of emotions as supporters cheered and wept during the announcement.  The Government is expected to respond within four months after receiving the convention’s recommendation, following a debate to be held in the Oireachtas, Ireland’s national parliament.

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Members of the convention also voted in favor of recommending that state laws be passed “incorporating changed arrangements in regard to the parenting, guardianship and the upbringing of children,” which was welcomed by Minister for Justice Alan Shatter. Shatter announced that details of a new “Family Relationships and Children’s Bill” addressing the issues in relation to children, will be published within a few months.

The outcome of the convention was welcomed as “an historic step” by advocacy groups; Marriage Equality, the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.  Brian Sheehan, director of GLEN said: “It is a major milestone on the remarkable journey to full constitutional protection for lesbian and gay people and families in Ireland.”  He added that it is a clear demonstration of Ireland’s readiness to “take the next step to complete that remarkable journey.” [IT]

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