The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has expressed deep disappointment at the High Court’s rejection of a bid by two women to have their marriage in Canada upheld under Irish law.
Calling the legal judgement “questionable”, USI’s Steve Conlon said:
“it is clearly untenable to interpret the 1937 Constitution in a way that fails to read into its provisions a safeguarding of fundamental human rights”.
USI said the High Court ruling would only serve to intensify pressure on the Government to entrench the right of gay and lesbian people to enter into civil marriage on nondiscriminatory terms – if necessary by passing new legislation.
USI gay and lesbian spokesperson Steve Conlon said: “USI is deeply disappointed that the 1937 Constitution has been interpreted as a reason for refusing to acknowledge the right of gay and lesbian people to be treated as equal citizens under Irish law.
“The 1937 Constitution was meant, and is still meant, to entrench and advance the rights of all Irish people without exception. The Constitution was never meant to restrict or reduce our rights. Surprisingly, that appears to have been the verdict of the High Court today.”
USI President Colm Hamrogue said: “The 1937 Constitution is a living document, in the sense that it should be interpreted in line with the evolving standards and expectations of a civilised society. The Constitution should buttress, not undermine, civil equality.
“USI will continue to support efforts by Drs Zappone and Gilligan – and thousands of other citizens – to win acknowledgement in Ireland of their human rights to enter into civil marriage on an equal footing.”