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Liberties, égalité, fraternité

The Liberties Dublin 8 still holds highest share of couples in civil partnerships in the capital, showing huge support for same-sex rights in the area.

Tiernan Brady a director at Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) in Dublin 8 explained that the Liberties area still maintains the “single largest group” of civil partnerships in the county, with 69 couples from the area holding that status.

Over 1,900 gay and lesbian couples have entered civil partnerships in Ireland since the granting of them in 2011. People of all ages have joined these partnerships with most aged between 31 and 40.

Dublin contains the largest number of gay and lesbian couples with a civil partnership status, with results from last year showing 457 living in the capital.

Last month the constitutional convention voted a huge 79 per cent in favour of extending marriage rights to same-sex couples.

This result marked a massive step towards equal marriage rights for lesbian and gay couples in Ireland, showing an unambiguous margin in favour.

Tiernan Brady believes that this is a fantastic result that voices a profoundly positive message for all lesbian and gay people.

“The positive impact of such a large vote in favour shouldn’t be underestimated, it’s a really self-affirming message for a lot of people,” said the director of GLEN.

The conventional not only debated and voted on marriage rights but also on parental rights to same-sex couples.

Votes were also held on whether the amendments to the constitution should be permissive or directive, with 78 per cent voting in favour of directive action.

The GLEN director said “We have always seen this as an Irish success story. When you think of how far we’ve come, in less than 20 years we’ve gone from criminalisation through to equal status acts, to anti-discrimination acts, to the civil partnership and now the constitutional convention.”

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said he welcomed the support expressed for “the reform and modernisation” of laws in relation to parentage, guardianship and upbringing of children.

“Essential work has been undertaken on the preparation of a new Family Relationships and Children’s Bill to address these issues in relation to children and details of the bill will be published in the coming months,” said the Minister.

The GLEN director explains that recent polls along with the results at the constitutional convention, proves that the majority of people in Ireland, whom are Catholic, are in favour of equal access to civil marriage.

“I suppose it’s a question for the leadership of the Church they would have to ask themselves, are they out of step with not just Ireland but with their own flock,” said Tiernan Brady.

Photograph courtesy of GLEN

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