Friday 19 April 2019

Santa may arrive before first same-sex marriage

Celebrations inside Pantibar after a Yes Vote in Dublin
Celebrations inside Pantibar after a Yes Vote in Dublin

Emma Jane Hade

President Michael D Higgins may have signed the marriage equality bill into law, but it could be after Christmas before we see the first same-sex marriages take place.

The President signed the amendment into the Constitution on Saturday night, almost 100 days after the result of the referendum was announced.

However, same-sex couples who are waiting to tie the knot will have to delay their plans for at least another few months.

The legislation will be brought before the Dáil when the Government returns from its break at the end of September. However, this process could be delayed as an appeal against the outcome of the referendum was lodged in the Supreme Court last week. The appeal was taken by the same individuals whose original appeals were thrown out by the High Court and the Court of Appeals.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said she was "delighted" to see the "culmination of a process which began in 2011".

Tiernan Brady, policy director with the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, said same-sex couples will have to wait a few months before they can tie the knot.

"There are still one or two hurdles that have to be passed. There are a couple of jigs and reels to go before there are big days out," he said last night.

"The big stuff is done. It is fantastic for everybody who voted Yes, not just lesbian and gay people. It's about Ireland and our families, parents and friends. And, getting the referendum results ratified is a phenomenally historical and joyful moment for everybody."

Mr Brady said same-sex couples must wait to apply for a marriage licence after the legislation passes and then they face a three-month waiting period for the licence to be granted. However, the status of civil partnerships can be changed to marriages without delay once the legislation is passed.

Irish Independent

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