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Irish gay marriage activists plan Valentines Day carnival

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A group advocating full marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples in Ireland will hold a ‘love carnival for equality’ in Dublin tomorrow.

The theme is Open Your Eyes: Love Is Blind.

LGBT Noise said that justice, like love, should be blind and should apply equally to all regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

“Forget the recession, it’s all about the love this Saturday, and in honour of Cupid’s all-conquering arrow, Noise is hosting a love carnival for equality outside the Central Bank,” the group said in a statement.

“Expect balloons, flags, music and general merriment as members of the group call upong the public to write their messages of love onto blindfolds and tie them over their eyes.

“The blindfolds will be removed simultaneously with a collective chant to “open your eyes” and then strung from the railings of the Central Bank.”

LGBT Noise spokesperson Mark McCarron said same-sex couples are being offered the “much lesser and totally unromantic alternative of civil partnership.”

The Irish government has announced that the Civil Partnership legislation will be brought before the Dáil (Parliament) this spring.

LGBT Noise opposes the bill because it will not carry “all the same rights and protections as civil marriage, and civil partners will not be protected by the constitution.

“Neither will it recognise same-sex families – a registered civil partner will be unable to adopt their partner’s child and there will be no recognition of de facto families. This means that the children they raise will have no legal rights with respect to one of their parents.”

The proposed legislation 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.

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