Sunday 11 December 2016

Same-sex weddings 'in weeks' as Dáil, Seanad pass Bill

John Brennan

Published 23/10/2015 | 02:30

Anthony Kinahan and Barry Gardiner, both from Drogheda, who are looking forward to their wedding after the passage of the Marriage Bill 2015 yesterday
Anthony Kinahan and Barry Gardiner, both from Drogheda, who are looking forward to their wedding after the passage of the Marriage Bill 2015 yesterday

A same-sex couple has hailed the passing of the Marriage Bill through the Oireachtas as the day they have been recognised as "an ordinary family".

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Denise Charlton, from Dalkey, Co Dublin, was at Leinster House with her partner, Paula Fagan, and their two children as history was made.

"Over 60pc of people voted for our family - we're now an ordinary family and not just an extraordinary family," Denise said.

Paula added: "It's just great to have it in law now that couples like us can get married and our families can be recognised - we're delighted that this day has come."

The pressure is on for Paula after Denise joked that she is "still waiting for a proposal".

Same-sex couples will be able to marry from mid-November now the legislation has passed through the Oireachtas. It is set to be forwarded to President Michael D Higgins to be signed into law.

Tánaiste Joan Burton called it "a day of a lot of emotion" and said it showed "what this Republic can truly mean for all the citizens".

"Today is a good riposte to the prejudice of the past," said Justice Minister Francis Fitzgerald.

"It's been a long journey for people. People have suffered, people have left this country because of the prejudice they've experienced - we're seeing the change in all that, we're seeing a marker of a changed Ireland."

Senator David Norris said that there is still work to be done to help people living in countries "where it is still dangerous and fatal to be gay".

Couple Anthony Kinahan and Barry Gardiner said they were "elated" and "overjoyed" that the Bill is being referred on to President Higgins.

The pair have been in a civil partnership for eight-and-a-half years and will now be able to get married.

"We always wanted to get married. We're now looking forward to doing so in front of all our family and friends," said the couple, who have set the date April 16, 2016.

Irish Independent

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