(Dublin 25th June) Equals activists chained themselves to the gates of Dáil Eireann today in protest at the Government’s proposed Civil Partnership Bill.
Equals used chains to lock onto the main gates of Government buildings and unfurled a rainbow flag with the words ‘Marriage Rights Are Equal Rights’. Equals says that the Government’s proposed Civil Partnership Bill creates a two-tier society where gay people and their families are treated as second class citizens.
“We are all equal and deserve to be given the same right as straight people to marry the person we love,” said spokesperson, Lisa Connell, adding “we won’t leave here until Brian Cowen takes equality seriously”
See TV coverage Here : TV3
Photographs by Paula Geraghty ©
Sweden will allow homosexuals to legally marry from May this year after the parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of the move.
The change in the law, which currently allows gay couples to register unions but not formal marriage, comes into force on May 1 this year under the timetable set out in the bill.
Scandinavian countries, known for their liberal attitudes toward gays and lesbians, were among the first countries in Europe to grant same-sex partners the same rights as married couples.
Sweden gave same-sex couples the right to form a union via registered partnerships in the mid-nineties and made it legal for them to adopt in 2002.
The passage of the bill was widely expected and the final tally was 261 votes in favour of the bill and 22 opposed.
“The decision means that gender no longer has an impact on the ability to marry and that the law on registered partnership is repealed,” the government said on its website.
The Christian Democrats, part of the four-party coalition government, refused to back the bill.
The new legislation eliminates legal distinctions between heterosexual and homosexual spouses, but does not force dissenting clergy to wed gay couples.
The Swedish Lutheran church, which split from the state in 2000, has said it was open to celebrating and registering same-sex unions, although it wanted to reserve the term matrimony for heterosexual marriages
It’s time to take it to the streets.
Like never before, there is an urgent national call for social change through the use of nonviolent direct action, including civil disobedience.
We are tired of defeat, token change, defending ourselves against charges of moral inferiority, and being told to “wait” in the land we love while liberation occurs in other countries.
Equals is new LGBT group that believes in equal rights for all. We believe that nothing less than full civil marriage for gay couples in Ireland can deliver complete equality and true justice. Throughout history many individuals have risked their liberty using civil disobedience and non-violent direct action to bring about change. While peaceful direct action itself is a last resort, its power to deliver change must sometimes be harnessed.