UCC LGBT’s Civil Partnership Debate

UCC LGBT this Wednesday will be hosting a Debate on the Government’s proposed Civil Partnership Bill. It’s on at 8:00pm in Boole 1 on Thursday if anyone is interested in heading along. (Facebook Event) The motion that will be debated will be “This House believes that Civil Partnership will create a ‘marriage apartheid’ in Ireland”. An interesting subject. Senator Dan Boyle will be speaking against the motion and speaker from the MarriagEquality campaign group will be there to speak for it.

While I’m all for debates I’m not sure if it’s worth my while going considering the room will be fairly biased for the motion, but I am tempted to go along and speak against the motion. But I’ll see how I am after work on Thursday. If I do go I will be twitting the meeting!


Equality California considers Prop 8 Passage a "Mob Vote"

In a letter that is posted on the Gay News Blog, Geoff Kors, Executive Director of Equality California says the result should be thrown out due to the “outrageous lies and questionable tactics by the other side, be thrown out. We know our rights cannot be taken away by a mob vote.”

I am amazed he calls it a mob vote? Is not California a democracy? Is it not the job of Equality California and others against Prop 8 to highlight the lies and the tactics used by its proponents. If it passed because of lies and tactics then it shows the incompetence of the “No on 8” Campaign. The route they are taking now, more legal action asking that the results of a legal democratic election “be thrown out” is outrageous!

I am also very questioning of the protests against the Mormon Church. So what if they supported Prop 8? Aren’t they allowed as a interest group to participate in politics? Parading signs like “Vile Mormons” is not going to get you any more supporters!

If those that were deicted to the cause actually stopped doing and started thinking they would do what is suggested over on GayPatriot and see where they went wrong. One of the writers there has also written an excellent piece on Pajamas Media on Making the Case for Gay Marriage. There is no point in blaming others when you failed as you must take some of the blame yourself.

I hope the California Courts have learned that they cannot go against the wishes of the MAJORITY of the people and through the results out.

Prop 8

I stayed largely away from the Debate on Prop 8 going on in blogosphere apart from one post about Google supporting it (which I regret btw), but the actions of people since the passing of the proposition makes me wonder if I would have voted no considering my position gay marriage. I kind of have to agree with gaypatriot.net in calling them sore losers. The people of California have voted 52.5% to 47.5% (results from Ballotpedia)

Now I am all in favour of democracy and think the fact that the PEOPLE overturned the decision of the Court to be a good thing. BUT what about all the same-sex couples who did get married, what happens to them? They are in a legal limbo. It is these people I feel sorry for.

The actions of the sore losers is what will not gain gay marriage any more supporters in fact it will harden the stance of those against it. The idea of bringing yet another court case will also harden the stance of the opponents as you are ignoring the will of the PEOPLE.

I think they should wait another four years as they can but another amendment forward. Why four years? Exit pools showed that young people supported the measure by a large majority so maybe that is the tactic they should be thinking of.

Google ‘hope that California voters will vote no on Proposition 8’

Yes, that’s right, that evil company Google are taking a stance on Proposition 8 in California. For those of you who don’t know Proposition 8 is the following: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California”. Basically the proposition is to make In re Marriage Cases (2008) [76 Cal.Rptr.3d 683, 183 P.3d 384] (PDF), which made Gay Marriages legal in California, illegal again. Obviously if I had a vote in California I would be voting no, but as I live in Ireland I don’t. It is heartening though to see a big corporation, like Google, taking a stance on it.

What I wonder is will this backlash on Google or will it further cement their position? Only time will tell.

Official Google Blog – Our position on California’s No on 8 campaign

Me and Gay Marriage

Okay, so I get in a lot of trouble in gay circles and lefty equality circles (you know who you are Len) about my opposition or really lack of support for gay marriage.

I recently posted over on The Political Gay about my thoughts on the Heads of the Civil Partnership Bill 2008 (available here (PDF)).

Though I did take part in the LGBT Noise protest in Cork about the bill (Gaycork.com thread) I am not that fussed. I am broadly supportive of the bill and will be hoping it is passed more or less in its current state.

The one thing that made me turn up last week was the issue of adoption and children in general. It is completely ignored by the bill and I am not a happy bunny because of it. Of course, this might change in the future and maybe a second bill will allow gay adoption like what has happened in the UK. So I am adopting the Micheal Collins approach to this bill. For those of you unsure of that, I mean along the lines of what Collins said about the Anglo-Irish Treaty. It‘gives us the freedom, not the ultimate freedom that all nations desire and develop to, but the freedom to achieve it.’ I believe something similar about this bill, it will be a gradual thing, and as time goes by we will gain more rights and entitlements.

Now as for Marriage, I ain’t a fan of it. Thats just who I am, to me its too religious and can never se myself have a Gay Civil Marriage. While Civil Partnership’s I do support full heartedly and will be lobbying my Local TD’s to support it with the minimum of amendments.

A Churches Pragmatic Approach

Though I am not a chritian (still not sure what I am) I am always heartened of reports in the press of Churches that a Pro-LGBT. One of those churches is the Episcopal Church in the United States. Two Bishops in California have released guidelines for clergy to allow gay marriages to take place in their church. The marriage itself will not be carried out by a clergy member but by the civil registrar.

The two Bishops, Marc Andrus, Bishop of California, and Mary Gray-Reeves, Bishop of El Camino Real, deserve great applause and appreciation. This comes about due to the May 15th Supremem Court ruling in California. Also there will be a amendment in the fall elections to try and change the constitution to ban gay marriage. Could be an interesting election, its one I will be watching more then the Presidentials, well nearly!

Of course this serves to highlight the growing split in the Anglican Communion in which the Episcopal Church is a member. The Lambeth Conference, which takes place next month could either split the church or heal it. Though gay issues are not on the agenda, the Nigerian Church is not very pleased with the goings on in the US. Expect it to feature a lot, if they get their way!

Full Story:
US Bishops issue guidelines for gay marriages – Religious Intelligence
Links of interest:
Evangelicals Concerned
Lambeth Conference

Why we won’t see Gay Partnerships under the Cowen Adminsitration

I have read two blog posts recently that will send chills down the spine of everyperson in Ireland who has campiagned for Gay Partnerships (Unions, Marriages, Whaterver you want to call em!). Two high profile figures in Biffo’s cabinet are not fans of the Gays.

One is Tánasite and Minister for Trade, Enterprise and Employment and the other is Minsiter for Justice, Equality and Law Reform.

It was David Garrahy’s blog that alerted me to Mary Coughlan’s attitude and Maman Poulet who alerted me to Dermot Ahern.

This is quite worrying, Dermot Ahern’s Derpartment is the one that will be responsible for drafting the legislation and Mary Coughlan will have a lot of sway in Cabinet as Tánaiste.

I must say I am disapointed that in Ireland two high profile ministers can be against same-sex unions and hold up things dispite the fact that most people in Ireland would support some form of recognition.

UPDATE: I’ve expanded on this over on The Political Gay

Labour ro prioritise Civil Unions in 2007

From the Labour Press Office

Recognition of same sex unions must be priority for 2007

The Leader of the Labour Party, Pat Rabbitte TD, has said that the issue of legal recognition of and proper protection for couples in same sex relationships must be a priority for the Oireachtas in 2007.

“I am confident that the our society has matured and attitudes changed sufficiently to the point where the majority of our people would have no problem with legislation that would provide same-sex couples with the same basic rights and duties that are available to married couples.

“Shortly before Christmas, my colleague Brendan Howlin TD, published, on behalf of the Labour Party, a private members bill that would create a status relationship equivalent to marriage for the benefit of people who are of the same sex and who, under the current constitutional understanding of marriage, cannot marry each other. The Bill provides that, in most respects, the rules of law applying to marriage would also apply to civil unions.

“If passed, this Bill would have an immediate, significant and practical impact on the everyday lives of gay and lesbian couples. Those who choose to enter into a civil union would enjoy vital legal rights which married couples take for granted, in areas such as inheritance and taxation. The Bill would bring to end many of the routine forms of institutionalised discrimination that exist in our society and which impinge on in a very real way on people’s lives.

“The Bill will be brought on to the floor of the Dail early in the new year, a step that will mark a watershed in our social and legislative history. This will be the first time that the Dail will have been given an opportunity to debate legislation providing for the legal registration and recognition of civil unions between persons of the same sex.

“The Labour Party has a long and proud record of driving the equality agenda in this country. The constitutional amendment providing for divorce and the legislation reforming the availability of contraception are legacies of Labour Party Ministers, while Labour also provided the political impetus that led to the decriminalisation of homosexual activities between consenting adults. Our Civil Unions Bill is entirely consistent with that tradition.

“We have produced this Bill because we are committed to the principle of full equality for gay and lesbian citizens and particularly for those in same sex unions. While both the Taoiseach and the Tanaiste have both made sympathetic noises, I do not see any willingness on the part of this government to tackle the issue. Indeed despite the publication in November of the Report of the Working Group on Domestic Relationships, chaired by Anne Colley, the government has not given any commitment on the introduction of legislations to provide for civil unions and appears determined to kick the issue into touch until after the general election.

“This must not be allowed to happen. Great distress was caused to many of our citizens in the past by long delays in the introduction of social reforms that have now become accepted as the norm. This must not be allowed to happen in regard to gay and lesbian citizens. The Oireachtas must rise to the challenge by enacting this legislation.

Well done to the Labour party! I shall be watching the progress of this bill with interest!

Irish support for EU membership, still the highest.

According to a new Euro-barometer survey which was released today Ireland still tops the table for support for continued membership of the EU. Ireland is at 78% closely followed by Luxembourg (74%). The UK is at the bottom of the current member states at 34% with only Croatia below it at 32%.

Also 87% of people in Ireland believe we have benefited from membership of the EU. Ireland also tops the poll on the positive image of the EU (73%).

On trust in EU institutions 60% of those questioned trusted the European Commission and 66% trusted the European Parliament which came out as being the most trusted institution in the EU.

On EU policies, for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Ireland is languishing near the end of the table 59% support and is right at the bottom of the table for support for a Common Defence and Security Policy with 52%

Less then half of those interviewed were in favour of further enlargement on the Union, with 48% in favour of expansion.

On the EU Constitution, 56% were in favour but this could easily be changed as 35% of respondents were “unable to express an opinion” (Euro-Barometer 66, December 2006, p33)

On the issue of same-sex marriage support is split across Europe 49% disagreeing and 44% in favour of it. In Ireland 41% agreed to this.

On the issue of Gay Adoption, 68% of respondents were against it with only 26% in favour. In Ireland support was slightly higher at 30%

For the full report click here


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.”