Gay couple hail milestone wedding
Published 05/04/2011 | 18:17
One of the first gay couples in Ireland to officially tie the knot under new laws have hailed their wedding as an emotional milestone.
Barry Dignam and Hugh Walsh said their simple civil partnership ceremony at a register office in Dublin signalled how far the country has come on in recent years.
Both have already set their sights on full marriage, allowing the same rights and protections afforded to heterosexual partners, as the next landmark in a struggle for equality.
"We just need that little bit more of a push now," said a beaming Mr Dignam alongside his partner Hugh, moments after the ceremony.
"Now that people realise the sky is not going to fall down, that push for civil marriage is not a far journey at all."
The pair said they have been waiting 17 years to formalise their commitment to each other in the eyes of the State.
"When we met it was illegal to be gay in Ireland," Mr Dignam said.
"Now we are having a civil partnership, it is pretty amazing the change that's happened. But we still have places to go yet."
The Dubliners have become the public face of same-sex weddings in the Republic as the first in line to openly exchange vows after the mandatory three-month wait.
Six other gay couples who were granted court exemptions have already signed the partnership register, away from the spotlight, since the laws were enacted at the start of the year.