Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

Civil Partnership – All aboard in early December?

November 20th, 2009 · 4 Comments · Irish Politics, Marriage Equality, Same Sex Partnerships

Catching up on Civil Partnership related news…

Confirmed in a question to
An Taoiseach on Tuesday by Eamon Gilmore, leader of the Labour Party. Note the dig by Dermot Ahern.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: Does the Taoiseach have an update on when the civil partnership Bill will be before the House?

The Taoiseach: Hopefully, the first week in December.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore: I look forward to the Minister’s opening speech.

Deputy Dermot Ahern: Does the Deputy have a marriage coming up?

Just in time for the Civil Partnership Train?!

Yes it seems a group of lgbt (church?) activists from Northern Ireland are taking the train from Belfast to Dublin on December 5th.

The idea of a Civil Partnership Train also recalls a travel related equality case taken against the Irish government in 2003. The Irish state’s Department of Social and Family Affairs, following the intervention of the state’s Equality Authority, agreed to issue a Free Travel Pass to a partnered gay man. However, the following year in 2004 the then Minister for Social and Family Affairs brought in new legislation to specifically exclude same-sex couples from such benefits although they are available to unmarried heterosexual couples. The four objectives of the Civil Partnership Train are to encourage the Irish Government to:

IMPLEMENT fully the Good Friday Agreement in the Republic of Ireland and to meet its commitment in the Agreement to provide in the Republic “at least an equivalent level of protection of human rights as will pertain in Northern Ireland?.

UPGRADE the Civil Partnership Bill to provide parenting rights for gay and lesbian couples equal with those in Northern Ireland.

INCLUDE in the Bill recognition of widowed same-sex partners who obtained their Civil Partnership overseas or in Britain or Northern Ireland since 2005.

STOP the proposed amendment to the Bill for an anti-gay opt-out on the grounds of ‘Christian conscience’. The proposed opt-out was not conceded in Northern Ireland.

I’m wondering why they are coming here and not encouraging people to go up there? Maybe they are worried Mary Coughlan would be giving out for encouraging people to do their shopping!

Can we expect an accompanying lobby for the First Minister and Deputy First Minister to raise it at the next meeting between themselves and Minister Micheal Martin? 😉

I do hope that there are very loud jeers towards Irish Rail (not at the ordinary staff mind) as the gang arrive! PS. The Department of Social Welfare office is very near the train station if you want to let the real source on the travel ban issue know how you feel!!

Finally I see Neil Ward has uploaded his speech on behalf of the NLGF at a debate at TCD on Tuesday night – again it’s not proposing partnership rights in line with the avoidance of the question in the organisations Burning Issues launch last week and probably in line with the motion for debate. Did that survey actually ask people about partnership rights? Or was it strictly marriage equality?

So who’s watching the actual bill which we may see debated in the week after next? Other than the main cheerleaders? And what briefings for Oireachtas members are LGB organisations preparing and can we see copies?

The events, protests, debates and media coverage of the bill whenever it reaches the Dail is going be liveblogged and covered extensively. Tag for tweets, flickr and posts #cpb ok?? Links to the liveblog will go live next week (complete with live pictures of the Dail debate all on the same page if we get a debate!)

UPDATE:

Tag suggested is now #cpbill due to other tag being used by other organisations/issues recently.

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