It's a long way to recognition of same-sex couples in Ireland but with people like Dr. Katherine Zappone and Dr. Ann Louise Gilligan, it might just come sooner than Mary "Ireland is not ready for gay marriage" Coughlan thought.
Some NGOs have produced or are working on Partnership Rights reports in Ireland. However, this issue is divisive, even amongst the LGBT community. Do we want marriage? Civil partnership? Isn't it conforming to norms that many members of the community want to defy? What about adoption, IVF?
Many countries already have legislation in place to recognise and protect same-sex couples in the form of civil partnerships. Other countries have gone further and recognise gay marriages, like Canada where Dr. Katherine Zappone and Dr. Ann Louise Gilligan got married in September 2003. Upon their return to Ireland, they contacted the Revenue Commissioners and seeked to claim all the advantages married couples are automatically entitled to in this country. Their claim was denied on the basis that they were not "husband" and "wife" although taxes legislation does not define the terms. Katherine and Ann Louise are challenging this interpretation and were granted leave by the High court to do so just over a year ago.
The case is now on a waiting list for hearing (hopefully within a year) and just as these proceedings take time, they also take money, regardless of how much pro bono their barristers might do and how many people volunteer their time, skills and efforts to their cause. A fund-raising lunch has been organised tomorrow in the Mansion house but other events will follow as they face the prospect of going all the way to Strasbourg to change the way same-sex couples are treated in Ireland forever.
Please support the KAL case!!! Details of how to donate, more information on the case, mailing list subscriptions etc can be found here.
Also, I've just very quickly taken a chunk of their website's banner and created a button to link back to it and will place it on my sidebar. Please do the same so that we can raise as much awareness as possible around this case!!
All you have to do is copy the following code and paste it into your blog / webpage template:
Categories: Ireland; LGBT; KAL Case; Katherine Zappone; Ann Louise Gilligan