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2011 to be a good year for Same-Sex Couples

Resource type: News

Gay and Lesbian Equality Network |

“This will be a good year for very many same-sex couples who will now be able to have formal recognition, protection and support for their relationships” said Kieran Rose, Chair of GLEN.

Under the Civil Partnership Bill and Certain Rights of Cohabitants Act 2010, which becomes active from 1st January same-sex couples who register their civil partnership will have many of the same entitlements and will be subject to many of the same legally enforceable duties and obligations as parties to a civil marriage. These include protections and obligations across areas such as protection of the couple’s shared home, next of kin, domestic violence, residential tenancies, succession, refugee law, pensions, taxation, maintenance, social welfare and immigration.

“This is a new dawn for lesbian and gay couples. Civil Partnership opens up a new vision for their relationships and their lives and creates the legal framework for a more secure future” said Kieran Rose.

Couples must give three months notice to the Civil Registrar before having a civil partnership ceremony. When the Registry Office opens on Tuesday 4th January, same-sex couples will be able to apply to the Civil Registrar to enter into a Civil Partnership. The first Civil Partnership ceremonies are likely to occur in April.

The Minister also signed orders which will automatically recognise a wide range of foreign same-sex civil marriages and same-sex civil partnerships as Irish civil partnerships. Same-sex couples who are already married or are civil partners through these recognised foreign relationships will be deemed civil partners in Ireland from mid January.


Additionally, GLEN acknowledged the role that Bertie Ahern T.D. played as Taoiseach in advancing progress for lesbian and gay people.

Mr. Ahern, in his speech announcing that he would not be standing for the Dáil again, stated that “Ireland is a profoundly more equal place for gays and lesbians than it ever was before. These and more are markers not of what we have done, but of the more we must continue to do. They are the signs of the stronger and more republican society we are in the process of becoming.”

“I would like to acknowledge the role which Mr. Ahern played in achieving progress for lesbian and gay people” said Kieran Rose, GLEN Chair. “As Taoiseach he made a significant contribution to the development of the Civil Partnership legislation that we have today”.

“In 2006 he was the first Taoiseach to speak at a gay event, when he launched the GLEN strategic plan where and he gave a detailed and wide-ranging speech on the status of lesbians and gay men in Irish society and the need for continued legal and other progress” concluded Kieran Rose.

At that event, Mr. Ahern stated that “our sexual orientation is not an incidental attribute. It is an essential part of who and what we are. All citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, stand equal in the eyes of the law. Sexual orientation cannot and must not, be the basis of a second class citizenship. Our laws have changed, and will continue to change to reflect this principle.”

The Civil Partnership legislation became active on 1st January 2011.

 GLEN is an Atlantic Grantee.


For more information:
GLEN – Gay and Lesbian Equality Network

The General Register Office has an information booklet on how to get a Civil Partnership. It is available at

GLEN have produced a short information note on Civil Partnership, available at

The Department of Social Protection have produced a Q&A on Civil Partnership, available at