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

Civil Partnership some initial observations…

June 27th, 2009 · 5 Comments · Equality, LGBT, Same Sex Partnerships

Firstly for those people who’ve waited for the moment the state actually recognises their relationship and offers a chance to get their affairs in order I’m sure yesterday was a very good day and by the end of the year or early next year there will be a lot of people queuing up to get the deed done and celebrate.

It’s a good day for those people who’ve been together for years and want to sort out the pensions, property and next of kin issues.  But for many people this bill does not meet their needs and they need to be heard.

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For those raising children or wanting to have children and legally protext families I have heard nothing from anyone about what will be done to protect these families.  Those children that want to have legal ties to their non biological parents and those parents who want legal recognition of their role and succession rights will have to wait – or maybe they should not even bother waiting. There’s been little from anyone who’s been welcoming the bill talking about the many who will be left behind.

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For those who wanted marriage and marriage only (some would say in a manner to the detriment/ignorance of those who wanted something, anything at all)  no doubt they are disappointed but surely not surprised.

And as I predicted on this blog and elsewhere the lack of focus on the detail of what the government are actually proposing to introduce has allowed some to enter by the back door and get a deal done that was easy for FF to swallow and the Green Party to claim brownie points for.

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Maybe the fact maintenance will have to be paid will put a stop in the whist of some people rushing to the registry office and that’s no bad thing.  Given the number of people who’ve walked away from relationships leaving ex’s penniless it’s good to see the darker side of lives, loves and money covered. Yes lesbians and gay men are try to be as conniving and ruthless as many straight people in dissolving their relationships.

Attachment orders to earnings of partners who are better off to assist in the payment of maintenance may deter some from entering into civil partnerships. The recognition of cohabitants will confer rights on the dissolution of those relationships though.

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One should also note that this legislation may give Mary Hanafin the powers to enter your bedroom. A turn off if ever there was one.

The recognition of civil partnerships under taxation and social welfare codes extends far beyond those relationships that will actually be registered.

This means that same sex un-civilly partnered relationships may well be considered fair game for means testing by the Department of Social and Family Affairs. For years they could not be recognised as there was no marriage or civil partnership options for people to enter into so no penalties could be applied in assessing people for welfare payments.

Can you imagine the training courses the inspectors will get in how to spot that two men or women living together may well be shacked up and therefore considered financially dependent on each other! Many an interesting social welfare interview to come.

You may only be fuck buddies but if Mary and co. gets a whiff of co-habitation there may be no more individual social welfare payments. Instead failed means tests and refusals of rent allowance and assumptions of inferred dependency will be made.   You may thank the lads in GLEN for that one if it does turn out this way. A new form of poverty due to sexual orientation?

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Things will change, change utterly following the adoption of this bill. Oh the term marital status is no more in terms of equality legislation – civil status will be the new phrase not rolling off your lips seemingly.

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