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Did you know that the Oireachtas banned gay marriage in 2004?


straightalk

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Apr 30, 2010
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89
While civil partnership legislation has tended to grab media headlines, little attention is paid to the fact that the last government took the deliberate decision to bar gay men and lesbians from accessing the institution of marriage.

Civil Registration Bill 2003: Report and Final Stages. (Dáil Debates, Volume 579, 10th February 2004)

Civil Registration Bill 2003: Second Stage (Resumed). (Seanad Debates, Volume 175, 11th February 2004)

The Civil Registration Act, 2004 provided for the upgrading of the records system for the registration of births, marriages and deaths, and the widening of authorised venues for marriage ceremonies conducted beyond the church or registry office. Section 2.2(e) of this legislation states that there is an impediment to marriage if both parties are of the same sex.

Our legislators never debated the ban in either the Dáil or the Seanad at the time that the Bill went through both Houses of the Oireachtas. Ten opposition deputies did try to remove Section 2.2(e) at the Report and Final Stages of the Bill. However, they did not get the opportunity to debate the ban. They were immediately outvoted by Minister Mary Coughlan’s counter-amendment to keep the ban intact. Her government colleagues supported her in that regard. Fine Gael and Labour deputies did not take part in this particular vote.

The sheer absence of debate about this highly discriminatory measure prompted me to contact lawmakers who voted on the legislation. I asked deputies to provide me with their rationale for keeping the ban intact. I asked senators if they were aware of the clause in the proposals. I provided them with the relevant background information in order to facilitate their response. The vast majority of these public representatives have ignored my repeated correspondence over the last year. The following is a sample of the responses that I did receive:

Deputy Mary O'Rourke: “I was not aware of this proposed ban prior to voting on this Bill.”

Deputy Noel Ahern: “Don't recall. I presumed it was the agreed decision at the time.”

Deputy Brian Hayes: “My understanding from the 2003 Bill was that same sex marriage was never part of the Bill...from the debate, to the best of my knowledge, at the time the issue was about getting rights for same sex couples without full marriage.”

Assistant to Senator Joe O’Toole: “Joe… didn’t speak on this Act and doesn’t remember it as being a Bill that related to any kind of gay rights issue.”

Senator Geraldine Feeney: “I am sure you will agree that this Bill goes some way towards rectifying the discrimination present in society against members of the gay community.”

Senator Michael McCarthy: “From memory I cannot recollect to answer your query. I have contacted a colleague that assists with legislation and will revert to you in due course.”

These responses highlight an unacceptable level of ignorance within our national parliament about an important dynamic to a piece of legisation that they voted on. Is this ignorance acceptable to you? Do you think that it is indicative of a wider malaise within our political system as to the role and responsibility of the legislature?
 
Last edited:


ne0ica

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
8,446
While civil partnership legislation has tended to grab media headlines, little attention is paid to the fact that the last government took the deliberate decision to bar gay men and lesbians from accessing the institution of marriage.

Civil Registration Bill 2003: Report and Final Stages.

Civil Registration Bill 2003: Second Stage (Resumed).

The Civil Registration Act, 2004 provided for the upgrading of the records system for the registration of births, marriages and deaths, and the widening of authorised venues for marriage ceremonies conducted beyond the church or registry office. Section 2.2(e) of this legislation states that there is an impediment to marriage if both parties are of the same sex.

Our legislators never debated the ban in either the Dáil or the Seanad at the time that the Bill went through both Houses of the Oireachtas. Ten opposition deputies did try to remove Section 2.2(e) at the Report and Final Stages of the Bill. However, they did not get the opportunity to debate the ban. They were immediately outvoted by Minister Mary Coughlan’s counter-amendment to keep the ban intact. Her government colleagues supported her in that regard. Fine Gael and Labour deputies did not take part in this particular vote.

The sheer absence of debate about this highly discriminatory measure prompted me to contact lawmakers who voted on the legislation. I asked deputies to provide me with their rationale for keeping the ban intact. I asked senators if they were aware of the clause in the proposals. I provided them with the relevant background information in order to facilitate their response. The vast majority of these public representatives have ignored my repeated correspondence over the last year. The following is a sample of the responses that I did receive:

Deputy Mary O'Rourke: “I was not aware of this proposed ban prior to voting on this Bill.”

Deputy Noel Ahern: “Don't recall. I presumed it was the agreed decision at the time.”

Deputy Brian Hayes: “My understanding from the 2003 Bill was that same sex marriage was never part of the Bill...from the debate, to the best of my knowledge, at the time the issue was about getting rights for same sex couples without full marriage.”

Assistant to Senator Joe O’Toole: “Joe… didn’t speak on this Act and doesn’t remember it as being a Bill that related to any kind of gay rights issue.”

Senator Geraldine Feeney: “I am sure you will agree that this Bill goes some way towards rectifying the discrimination present in society against members of the gay community.”

Senator Michael McCarthy: “From memory I cannot recollect to answer your query. I have contacted a colleague that assists with legislation and will revert to you in due course.”
These responses highlight an unacceptable level of ignorance within our national parliament about an important dynamic to a piece of legisation that they voted on. Is this ignorance acceptable to you? Do you think that it is indicative of a wider malaise within our political system as to the role and responsibility of the legislature?
Whats new. This only goes to show you that our legislators are a lazy bunch and don't bother reading bills they vote on. They simply follow the party whip.
 

seenitallb4

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Apr 28, 2009
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Representative democracy isn't really that representative, is it?
 

ne0ica

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Representative democracy isn't really that representative, is it?
It is. We elected those who we voted for. There is no overhelming support in society for gay marriage. Why would they bother sticking their necks out when they don't have to.
 

Asparagus

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Apr 7, 2010
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Whats new. This only goes to show you that our legislators are a lazy bunch and don't bother reading bills they vote on. They simply follow the party whip.
I think that it is impossible to read every bill - some of them are long, in irish or very complex language. I am not sure how things are done however each party should nominate some bill readers and they should meet to agree a bullet point summary of each bill.
If a significant bullet point is missed then the bill would be automatically suspended until it has been properly ratified.
 

seenitallb4

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Apr 28, 2009
Messages
197
Why would they bother sticking their necks out when they don't have to.
I don't know, but I would assume that they would bother knowing the content of the bills they vote for.
 

lebowskilite

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It would seem to me that this section was seen as relatively unimportant at the time, most probably because anyone who did notice it assumed that gay marriage was already illegal and the bill wasn't changing anything. I certainly don't recall hearing about any gay couple getting married in the decade previous to the bill.
 

Keith-M

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There is no support for gay marriage beyond a lunatic fringe within the gay community and their politically motivated cheerleaders. Thankfully our public representatives have had the sense to put the common interest first.
 

lebowskilite

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But yes, it was a cynical action by the minister/government td involved.

sorry for the dp!
 

seenitallb4

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Messages
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There is no support for gay marriage beyond a lunatic fringe within the gay community and their politically motivated cheerleaders. Thankfully our public representatives have had the sense to put the common interest first.
I support anyone's right to marry anyone else if there is consent, up to and including polygamy. Actually, it's not so much that I view these things as rights but more like private matters that ought not to need much in the way of public consent. I say this as a happily married and monogamous person.
 

USER1234

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There is no support for gay marriage beyond a lunatic fringe within the gay community and their politically motivated cheerleaders. Thankfully our public representatives have had the sense to put the common interest first.
Thats rubbish Keith-M recent polls that over 62% support gay marriage (WHICH IS A MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION OF IRELAND), so yes it does have support beyond a lunatic fringe within the gay community and their politically motivated cheerleaders as you put it!!!

its a same that our public representatives don't know (or probably dont care) what the public cares about!!!!
 

DCon

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Is Gogarty 25% disappointed?
 

Keith-M

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Thats rubbish Keith-M recent polls that over 62% support gay marriage (WHICH IS A MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION OF IRELAND), so yes it does have support beyond a lunatic fringe within the gay community and their politically motivated cheerleaders as you put it!!!
ONE poll commissioned by a group who are campaigning for "gay marriage". It's a less than worthless guide to public opinion.

its a same that our public representatives don't know (or probably dont care) what the public cares about!!!!
Believe me, if there was strong support in the general public, this would be something that our banwagon jumping politicians would be spouting off about.

It's a non-issue and a distraction that ionly serves to make the gay community look life a group of self-serving, politically nieve people, living in cloud cuckooland.
 
B

Boggle

ONE poll commissioned by a group who are campaigning for "gay marriage". It's a less than worthless guide to public opinion.
Run another one so. Out of interest, why do you think people would care - how would it effect you if two people you don't know were allowed to get married? WHat difference does it make to anybody except the people involved.

Or is banning gay marriage a last vestige of spite from those who still think that gays should be 'fixed'?


Believe me, if there was strong support in the general public, this would be something that our banwagon jumping politicians would be spouting off about.
Absolute rubbish. It's obviously not something that effects everyone and even those it does affect are generally more worried about bigger things.
As usual politicians say nothing until they are lead there by someone else - at which stage they claim it was all their idea!

It's a non-issue and a distraction that ionly serves to make the gay community look life a group of self-serving, politically nieve people, living in cloud cuckooland.
Why? Why is it self-serving that I think gay people should be allowed get married like everyone else? Why is it naive to think that equality should mean just that - as opposed to the current "your equal, but..." kind of spitefulness evident in your post.

Petty minded people fair piss me off. What difference does it make? What does it cost you?
Now balance that against what marriage means to people and ask yourself "why do you give a sh1t?"!
 

USER1234

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ONE poll commissioned by a group who are campaigning for "gay marriage". It's a less than worthless guide to public opinion.
Actually the poll was done by an independent polling company so the poll is not only relevant but a good guide to public opinion


Believe me, if there was strong support in the general public, this would be something that our banwagon jumping politicians would be spouting off about.
why do you think the civil partnership bill is going through (second class marriage for second class citizens though it is)???


It's a non-issue and a distraction that ionly serves to make the gay community look life a group of self-serving, politically nieve people, living in cloud cuckooland.
No it doesn't it just mean they want their full civil rights and they want it now & it a issue that the general public can agree with!!!
 

Mossy Heneberry

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Jun 10, 2009
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I don't understand why politicians seem to think they have a right to interfere with other peoples lives. If gay men and women want to marry, let them. In fact, the government should stay out of marriage altogether. If you don't like gay marriage, just concentrate on your own life and make the most out of your own relationship or marriage.
 

USER1234

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I don't understand why politicians seem to think they have a right to interfere with other peoples lives. If gay men and women want to marry, let them. If you don't like gay marriage, just concentrate on your own life and make the most out of your own relationship or marriage.
+1
 

Male Nude Photographer

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I don't understand why politicians seem to think they have a right to interfere with other peoples lives. If gay men and women want to marry, let them. In fact, the government should stay out of marriage altogether. If you don't like gay marriage, just concentrate on your own life and make the most out of your own relationship or marriage.

+ 100%

Well said Mossy
 

Sync

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Attacking the poll is silly, it was conducted by an independent reputable source, and falls in line with other such polls. It's as meaningful or not as any poll.

The problem in Ireland is that this isn't an issue for the 60 + % who say they're in favour of it. If you show most voters a list of priorities, gay marriage comes down the list after jobs, security, immigration, health, justice etc etc. Until it becomes one of the top 3 items discussed with candidates at the door, I don't see a huge change.

The reasons are obvious, there's no gain for the politician. I'm standing in your area. You're focused on the above issues, but me voting for gay marriage is a nice little bonus. But if you disagree with me on taxes, law etc etc, gay marriage isn't a make or break issue.

But in some older generations, the ones who vote, gay marriage is a make or break issue. And even if they agree with me on taxes etc, they'll vote against me because of my support for it.

So I see a net loss. So I don't do it.
 

straightalk

Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
89
Representative democracy isn't really that representative, is it?
Whilst a democracy inevitably represents the will of the majority electorate, as it were, a mark of good governance is the extent to which governments protect minority populations, whether they be on the basis of sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc.
 

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