On Sunday the 14th of August thousands of people marched in Dublin in opposition of the continued denial of marriage rights for same-sex couples in Ireland.
Many may believe that equality has been achieved by the LGBT community in Ireland with the passing of the Civil Partnership Bill in Ireland last year. However, there are a myriad of differences between Civil Partnership and Civil Marriage with over a hundred legal rights denied to couples under Civil Partnership that are available in heterosexual marriage.
The March for Marriage is an event to be celebrated in its attempts to secure marriage equality for all individuals in Ireland. There was a dearth of political representation at the march with the exception of The Socialist Party and other components of the United Left Alliance, an obvious sign of the rights disregard of minorities in Ireland as well as the working class. We must stand up and voice our support for every repressed minority the world over but especially so on our own doorstep. Irish LGBT citizens are being forced to sit at the back of the bus in Irish legislation and it cannot be allowed to continue. I would encourage each and every one of you to show your support, Gay, Straight, Transgender or Undecided. This is the third year that this march has run and it will continue to do so until full equality rather than half measures is achieved for LGBT individuals in Ireland. I hope to see you marching in the March for Marriage 2012.
Key aspects of inequality are:
- Civil partnership legislation does not recognise same-sex family units.
- Adoption Rights – always a contentious issue, most dissenting voices do not seem to realise that there are many same-sex family units in Ireland. Gay couples can and do have children and same sex-couples are still denied the right to adopt a child, even the child/children of their civil partner. There is a legal parameter whereby an individual, regardless of their sexuality, can apply to adopt. However, unlike heterosexuals, same- sex individuals are not entitled to adopt as a couple. Neither may the non biological parent be seen as the child’s Next of Kin, something which causes unnecessary hardship and difficulty in the event of the death of the biological parent or the granting of consent for medical procedures where the biological parent is not present. Civil partnership effectively ignores the children of LGBT individuals leaving them in a legal lacuna were their needs are not being met. In these cases it is the children that suffer in the long term.
- Marriages from outside the state are not recognised
And many more.