Gay Marriage in Ireland

The Irish Labour Party is backing the campaign for civil gay marriage in the Republic of Ireland.
Their website links to the marriage equality campaign which poses this basic question: How would you like to ask 4 million people for permission to marry?

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Civil Rights for all in a secular democratic society!

  • Henry94

    You could make the same argument for a second spouse. How is it anyone else’s business if the people directly involved want to do it.

    Either society has a collective right to define marriage or it does not. But that can’t simply be done by majority rule and this is where the proponents of gay marriage have a strong case.

    51-49 against or even 60-40 show that the consensus in society about what marriage is no longer exists. In that case the state has to either facilitate maximum personal freedom or possibly get out of the marriage business altogether.

    I would rather see full state marriage than the fudge of civil partnerships but ideally the state would stop offering marriage at all and treat all citizens equally. If you want special arrangements with another individual you should draw up a legally binding contract to facilitate it. Income sharing, joint ownership of property inheritance rights etc. could all be covered.

    Churches should be free of course to provide any ceremonies they wish on whatever basis they wish but without any legal effect. Church and state are more fully separated, individual rights are covered and equality reigns.

  • Big Maggie

    Great to see how Ireland has changed so much since I was in ankle socks. We didn’t have that refreshing “live and let” live attitude then.

    The country has really grown up.

  • cabernet sauvignon

    Get rid of civil marriage altogether, for both heteros and homos. Let churches marry or discriminate against whoever they wish. The Left Party in Sweden last year tried to force priests/pastors there to wed gay couples. If similar legislation was introduced here, and no doubt it eventually will, it would result in violence.

  • fin

    Recently read that ‘common law’ marraige isn’t recognised in Ireland either, guessing their are more couples in this situation than gay couples, yet no campaign!

  • RepublicanStones

    Its about time, if they love eachother who cares if its Adam and Steve.

  • Danny O’Connor

    Moral relativism strikes again.Who says that society has to be secular,what we have here is the tail wagging the dog.To take the attitude if it is not hurting anybody it is ok,will eventually lead to a situation where there are no absolutes.If someone wants to have multiple wives or husbands or a mixture of both.
    Marriage is defined as a union between one man and one woman,- anything else is not marriage.
    The truth is still the truth even if no one believes it,a lie is still a lie even if everyone believes it.

  • Coll Ciotach

    What is marriage?

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “Marriage is defined as a union between one man and one woman.”

    Oh indeed, and they can toddle off to the church and get married if they are Christian, Jew, Muslim or whatever as has been the case since dawn of time and religion came about. However, why be married in a church today if one is an athiest.

    So let there Civil Partnerships for all secular folk as well….ie as there already is with the Registry Office. Why prevent gay folk from consolidating their relationship in the eyes of the civil law.

  • Big Maggie


    “Marriage is defined as a union between one man and one woman.”

    How queer then that the word is derived from the Latin word for a male :^)

  • Comrade Stalin


    Marriage is defined as a union between one man and one woman

    By whom ?

  • Who says that society has to be secular

    Indeed. As a Christian, I believe that marriage is ordained by God as the model for Christian love and sex lives and is the best foundation for a happy society.

    That’s why I believe that same-sex couples should have the same right to avail of it as opposite-sex couples. Civil marriage facilitated by the state and, as the Quakers in GB and the Church of Sweden (in full communion with the Church of Ireland) have already done, religious bodies providing same-sex church (or synagogue or temple or whatever) as their conscience permits.

  • Danny O’Connor

    comrade,by God Matt ch 19v4-6 &v11;-12

  • Danny O’Connor

    Sammy Morse,since when did conscience become a deciding factor in anything,my conscience is informed to know what I should do,I don’t always do it because I am human and therefore I sometimes fall short and sin.
    Some criminals have no remorse because their conscience tells them that they are a good person and that they are not doing anything wrong in fuel laundering or benefit fraud or tax evasion because everybody else does it.
    Homosexual/lesbian couples can call their relationship whatever they want,having state approval or indeed church approval will never alter the fact that it still lacks God’s approval.
    The truth is still the truth even if no one believes it – a lie is still a lie even if everyone believes it.

  • Sammy Morse,since when did conscience become a deciding factor in anything

    Well, if you’re playing the ultramontane Catholic card, since the Second Vatican Council.

    But the point I was making was that the state, while recognising gay civil marriage, shouldn’t force religious groups to recognise gay marriage in their own rites. I hope more do, and I’m active in campaigning for gay equality within my own church, the Church of Ireland, but that’s entirely a matter for us (and other religious groups) as a private body. And while I don’t expect General Synod to legislate for gay marriages next year, I do expect sometime before the end of my life to be able to have a good Anglo-Catholic wedding with all the trimmings in St. George’s. Sadly given that Mr. Sammy is a few decades older than me, I think too late for us, but we know we’re married, and God knows we know we’re married, and that’s how we come to the altar Sunday by Sunday, and that’s all we really care about.

    will never alter the fact that it still lacks God’s approval

    Somebody else with a personal hotline to God! As if Northern Ireland didn’t have enough of those. When you sound just like a raving fundamentalist Prod like that, how does it play within the SDLP?

  • 6countyprod

    ‘raving fundamentalist Prods’ will seem like angels when the Muslims take over.

    The devil you know, and all that…

  • Doomed, Captain Mainwaring, we’re all Dooooooomed!

  • Danny O’Connor

    6 county prod you only have to ask the Dutch,Sammy ,People talk about Vatican 11 as if something changed,positions on some things were clarified not liberalised as some would have you believe.A conscience has to be informed-the truth will make you free,and there is a big difference between freedom and license.As for the SDLP I don’t particulary worry ,I was a Catholic before I was a member still am and will continue to be.
    I am not as you describe a raving fundamentalist prod-merely a man who struggles as best as he can to follow the teaching of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
    A servant is not greater than his master so I dont mind your criticism because Mark Durkan is not my master.

    who is your master Sammy- the justice minister in waiting David Ford ?

  • Danny, I only have one master, my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And I’d better get to bed, as I have to get up in 5 hours and serve Him at the altar.

  • Danny O’Connor

    Good man Sammy,1 good thing about going on a Saturday night is you get a bit of duvet time on Sunday morning.

  • Coll Ciotach


    I agree

  • For those of you wondering about the SDLP position. The 2007 assembly manifesto contained the following 3 points:

    “Deliver an effective, well-resourced Sexual Orientation strategy, alongside an annual action plan, to promote rights and awareness of rights within the LGBT community.”

    “Develop an anti-bullying policy, including measures aimed specifically at homophobic bullying, to be implemented in every school in Northern Ireland.”

    “Continue training for party representatives against all forms of intolerance, including racism and homophobia.”

    Surely all candidates would have been bound by this?

  • Claire Hanna

    Sinead is right – SDLP policy in this area is clear, the party is fully supportive of Civil Partnerships.

    Danny O’Connor has been disciplined for his espousing his homophobia before and should be again. Bigotry is not welcome in the SDLP.

  • Danny O’Connor

    Claire – check before you post lies,Danny O’Connor has never been disciplined,I did attend an interview where I made my position clear,ie-that I would be faithful to the teaching of my Church on the issue of civil partnerships,and,2 years and 9 months later there is still no action.
    Furthermore I am not a racist or homophobic,I would have no problem employing someone who is gay,or treating them with absolute respect,but I have to say that I am a Catholic first and foremost and my faith is not negotiable on this issue.That does not mean that I am anti gay it just means that in my life God’s rules will be more important than the SDLP’s.
    If you are saying that practising Catholics are not welcome in the SDLP,then perhaps it is about time you passed this on to the electorate the next time your party workers are standing outside chapels giving out leaflets to people coming out of mass.

  • Danny O’Connor

    Ps Claire how dare you call me a bigot when unlike you I have suffered for taking a stance against bigotry abd I dont remember you giving much support.

  • Coll Ciotach

    Well said Danny, these are fine people to take about bullying.

  • Danny O’Connor

    Thanks for the support,I am not a hypocrite,I ask people to vote for me,and I know that the majority of my votes are from fellow Catholics.
    For Claire Hanna to condemn bigotry in the SDLP is hilarious,Many SDLP candidates actively campaign outside Chapel,how many campaign outside the synagogue or Presbyterian church?-none.
    Enough said.

  • “Marriage is a social union or legal contract between individuals that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged by a variety of ways, depending on the culture or demographic.” (Wikipedia)

    Marriage is a much more complex and flexible concept than “the union of one man and one woman”. Polygamy, men marrying multiple women, has been around for a long time. The four wives of Islam were a big reduction brought in by Muhammad (pbuh).

    Latin didn’t have a word for “married” for a long time; the four different kinds of citizen marriage (Confarreatio in manum, coemptio in manum, usus in manum and sine manu) took time to be seen as a single institution. Even then, contuberium and concubinatus (slave and freedman marriages) were not normally included in matrimonium.

    Modern marriage law and ceremony descends from Roman citizen marriage law and ceremony – common-law marriage and sine manu are very close, in particular, and the full (pre-Tridentine) nuptial mass derived several features from the confarreatio in manum service.

    The Christian churches removed many of the pagan elements during the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, but the legal codes lasted longer, especially the concept, common to sine manu, usus in manum and common-law marriage, that co-habitation is marriage.

    The Church’s hijacking of marriage from the common law took until 1753.

    Homosexuality (in private) wasn’t illegal until 1885 under British law (or Irish for that matter). Common law marriage between two people of the same sex would have been an interesting court case, though I’m not aware of one. But bear in mind that under the common law people were married if they said they were (and weren’t legally barred) unless someone took them to court to overturn the marriage.

    Modern companionate marriage as a union of equals isn’t even two centuries old; not two millennia as some Christians misrepresent it.

  • Big Maggie


    Fascinating, and an eye-opener for me. We tend to assume so much relating to our society and its customs. I learned only recently that the nuclear family isn’t that old a concept either, that prior to the Industrial Revolution the norm here was the extended family, much as it still is in Africa, Asia and indeed certain remote parts of Europe.

  • Richard – are you at Conference? If so, I owe you a pint for such an excellent post!