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

Deputy Cuffe – Tell us how you have not copped out?

November 1st, 2007 · 17 Comments · Ciaran Cuffe, Cop Out, Gay,, Irish Politics, KAL Case, Lesbian, LGBT, Queer, Same Sex Partnerships

I wonder how the lesbian and gay members of the Green Party are feeling this morning – there are quite a few of them – some of very long standing, others quite new. I know how many Green Party voters are feeling – their ire is all through lesbian and gay message boards and filling up the inboxes of Green Party TD’s. One of the great things about the Civil Union bill (and the visibility and campaigning of Labour LGBT) is that many non political lesbians and gay men have got interested and angry in a way that they were not allowed or permitted by other movements/organisations.

I wonder how Green Party officials will feel at their next European Green getogether – you know looking in the face of Greens from those many countries who have full civil partnerships and marriage and indeed a variety of options on offer. A fine example of Green Party Action in Government.

A little reminder from wikipedia..and here’s a link to an excellent ILGA summary of the situation.

Civil partnership, domestic partnerships, Unregistered partnership or registered partnerships offer varying amounts of the benefits of marriage and are available in: Andorra, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. They are also available in some parts of Argentina, Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul), Mexico, the U.S. states of California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire (effective January 1, 2008), New Jersey, Oregon (effective January 1, 2008), Vermont, Washington state, and the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.); Uruguay (effective November 1, 2007).

In the United Kingdom, civil partnerships have identical legal status to a marriage, and partners gain all the same benefits and associated legal rights; ranging from tax exemptions and joint property rights, to next-of-kin status and shared parenting responsibilities. Partnership ceremonies are performed by a marriage registrar in exactly the same manner as a secular civil marriage. Civil unions in New Zealand are identical to British civil partnerships in their association with equivalent spousal rights and responsibilities to fully-fledged heterosexual marriage.

Full marriage is presently available to same-sex couples in seven countries. The Netherlands was the first country to allow same-sex marriage in 2001. Same-sex marriages are also recognized in Belgium, Canada, South Africa, Spain, and the U.S. state of Massachusetts

Irish Green Party Policy on Same Sex relationships? Marriage? Civil Unions? Rights for non registered co-habitants – ah remember that?

Private member Bills are never perfect, neither is government proposed legislation – that is what amendments are for. But in the real world private members Bills are not usually accepted unless you are Alan Shatter T.D. But with a government main party so well known for long fingering things, the sayings of Bertie at the openings of gay organisations and community centres were wearing very thin.

So in world where equality is given it’s full meaning and the Greens stand by their principles, we should have expected far far more that the rubbish promised last night and danced out in press releases as a victory. Heads of a bill published in 6 months dealing with other types of relationships and governed by some Agency – introducing new forms of half rights and lots of wrongs.

I have been berated for being too hard on the Greens – been told that I don’t know how hard they had to work on the issue to get the March ’08 commitment. If that is hard work I’d hate to see you in a real crisis lads. I’m not even one of the queers looking for use of the M (marriage) word – but with what Lenihan has hinted at and Ciaran Cuffe himself has revealed we’re not even going to get full civil partnership rights – just a load of nods and winks (Kieran Rose from GLEN called it a Hire Purchase Agreement this morning – I think that is going to stick!) hidden under a carpet along with a string of other types of friendships, blood relationships and house-sharers.

Principled Pragmatists (PP) is what Ciaran Cuffe describes his position as on Morning Ireland this morning – oh that’s far too generous- get the stuff right the first time – give Marie Geoghegan Quinn a call – she brought full equality in 14 years ago the first time round and that was sex between men she was dealing with! (Update: More on the Greens and PP over with Dermod.)

In their first major test the Greens have sold us out – keeping us in our lowly places not equal at all. Shame…

Archbishops House must be really quite happy today at the plans…I’ll be putting up the speeches from last nights debate later today for a bit of further dissemination. The Oireachtas Website is fairly inaccessible at times – people need to see how they were cast aside.

PS: Congratulations to the Lesbians and Gay Men in Uruguay who get civil partnership rights from today – so do heterosexual couples, no mention of aunts, brothers, hire purchasing or housesharers there.



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