Civil partnerships bill listed in Irish parliament’s spring session

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The Irish government has listed a Civil Partnership Bill among legislation for the spring session of Parliament.

Last June Ireland’s Justice minister published a draft bill that will grant gay and lesbian couples legal recognition in areas such as pensions, social security, property rights, tax, succession and the payment of maintenance.

The government has ruled out gay marriage, claiming that it would require a change to the country’s constitution and a potentially divisive referendum.

The Irish Times reports:

“A commitment to bring forward a Civil Partnership Bill was included in the programme for government at the behest of the Green Party.

“There was some internal opposition within (governing party) Fianna Fáil and a motion opposing the Bill was signed by 20 TDs (MPs) and Senators ahead of a parliamentary party meeting that discussed the legislation.”

The Roman Cahtolic Church in Ireland may support a legal challenge to civil partnerships.

After the publication of the draft bill Cardinal Sean Brady said that as “marriage and the family are of public interest,” it was appropriate for the Church to intervene.

“Some might argue that it is in fact a breach of the Government’s Constitutional duty to protect the institution of marriage,” he said.

“Marriage, and with it the common good, is directly undermined when legislation and policy reduce marriage to simply one more form of relationship among others.”

Civil partnerships have been legal in Northern Ireland since 2005.