Ireland’s Parliament passed ‘civil partnership’ bill today

Another very, very Catholic country (over 88%) has legalized recognition of same-sex relationships: Ireland.

One of our readers, Louise, from Ireland sent this article to me — and she was at the Dáil, the Irish Parliament in Dublin, to see it happen:

The Bill recognising the civil partnership of same-sex couples passed all stages in the Dáil tonight without a vote.

Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern said the Civil Partnership Bill would put in place a legal regime that reflected the many forms of relationships in modern Irish society.

“Our society has change substantially in recent decades,’’ he said. “While marriage is more popular than ever, other forms of relationships have become increasingly common; they create some difficulties in the legal system and require in our law a measure of recognition and of protection.”

I have spent a lot of time in Ireland. My grandparents were born in rural County Galway and I’ve still got loads of family over there. In 1991, I studied for a semester studying law at the University College Galway. Back then, I learned that the Irish Supreme Court Justices occasionally cited Papal Encyclicals in their decisions.

Look at Ireland now. It just leapt ahead of the United States in terms of partnership recognition.

Oh, these are some of the best lines in the article:

The Catholic bishops have come out strongly against the legislation. However, Government ministers recently dismissed claims from them that the Bill may be unconstitutional.

Yeah, in 88% Catholic Ireland, the Bishops ridiculous claims are “dismissed.” In the U.S., members of Congress still do their bidding.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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