Irish Times: Call to bring same-sex law in line with North

THE NEXT government should upgrade the Civil Partnership Act to bring it into line with same-sex legislation in Northern Ireland, the Church of Ireland Changing Attitude Ireland group has said.

It describes itself as “a network of persons, gay and heterosexual, working for the full affirmation of gay and lesbian persons in the Church of Ireland and other Christian denominations”.

In a statement that welcomed the introduction of civil partnership in the Republic on New Year’s Day, and “the broad range of benefits that same-sex couples will now be entitled to under the new law”, the group’s secretary, Canon Charles Kenny, pointed out that the Act was still “second class” when compared to the legal situation in Northern Ireland.

“We now call on the new government shortly to be elected to remedy its defects, namely the failure to make provision for the guardianship of children and their adoption by same-sex couples,” he said.

The group’s Dr Richard O’Leary said current civil partnership legislation in the Republic “fails to meet the Irish Government’s own commitment in the Good Friday Agreement to provide in the Republic of Ireland ‘at least an equivalent level of protection of human rights as will pertain in Northern Ireland’.”

Canon Kenny also said he looked forward “to the registration and the celebration of civil partnerships on the premises of those churches who are willing to host them”.