Wednesday 17 January 2018

A long law-making road for a measure designed to clear way for gay marriage vote

Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter. Photo: Mark Condren
Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter. Photo: Mark Condren

* November 2012: Then-Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, announces he is framing a general scheme, or "heads", of a new bill to guarantee equal rights for lesbian and gay parents. He said his Family Relationships and Children Bill would be enacted by end 2013.

* June 2013: Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore announces same-sex marriage referendum.

* January 2014: Mr Shatter finally publishes the heads of bill which go to the Oireachtas Justice Committee. Public submissions are invited and 37 submissions, running to 286 pages, are received.

* April 2014: A day-long Justice Committee hearing takes place and 14 groups give evidence.

* May 9, 2014: Frances Fitzgerald takes over as Justice Minister after Mr Shatter is forced to resign.

* May 29, 2014: Oireachtas Justice Committee publishes wide-ranging report recommending many changes.

* June 2014: Ombudsman for Children is invited to submit views on the issue.

* July 2014: Then Health Minister, James Reilly, signals the issue of surrogacy and assisted human reproduction may be dealt with separately.

* September 2014: Government clears heads of bill proposed by Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald. The issue of surrogate mothers is taken out of the bill to be dealt with by separate legislation from the Health Department.

* January 2015: Same-sex marriage referendum wording is published.

* February 2015: Bill is finalised and minister briefs opposition spokespeople on its main points.

* February 17, 2015: Cabinet expected to clear the bill which will be published within days. Ms Fitzgerald expects full Dail and Seanad approval by end March 2015.

* May 2015: Irish voters will be asked to approve constitutional change permitting same-sex marriage.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Also in this section