The republic of Ireland is set to recognise civil partnerships and civil unions in advance of its own legalisation of civil unions later this year.This will mean that civil partnerships undertaken in countries outside of Ireland such as in Canada and the UK will have their legal status upheld in Ireland itself .
The UK currently recognises same sex unions originating in around 20 other countries including Canada, France and even the US ( where the legal status and recognition varies from state to state).Ireland’s minister of Justice rejected the possibility of a referendum to allow gay marriage.
Many said that gay marriage would be a constitutional change that would split the country whilst legal equality through civil partnerships was currently a more achievable possibility.Irish Labour Minister Brian Lenihan, addressing the annual meeting of the Gay and lesbian equality network said:
“I believe equality for same-sex couples can be achieved through a diversity of legal arrangements.”…
“I am very keen that in the interests to your community we should proceed now to bring in a law that will give recognition and protection to same sex couples who are involved in loving stable relationships.”
The legislation is expected to be introduced in March 2008.