Demand Marriage Equality in Ireland

A recent poll by Millward Brown Lansdowne for Marriage Equality confirms 75% of the Irish population support civil marriage for same-sex couples. Civil partnership for gay couples is a welcome step forward towards equality, but we still have a long way to go. Ireland is a country that has worked hard to encourage equality for everyone, and has overcome many obstacles in its path to create an accepting, diverse community. However, even today members of the LGBT community are being denied one of the most basic human rights, the right to marry the one they love.

Although civil partnership is a welcome step forward for many people, it is not, and never will be, full equality. The families of same-sex couples have yet to be recognised. In a civil partnership, non-biological parents do not have the right to make medical or educational decisions for their own children. The children of a gay couple are denied the rights to maintenance, hospital visits and inheritance from their non-biological parents. And in the tragic event of a biological parent's death, the child could end in state care, because, in the eyes of the law, their second mom and dad is a stranger.

These are just a few of the over 150 rights denied to same-sex couples and their families under the law. But even if the legal rights of a couple in a civil partnership were identical to those of a married couple, it would still be discrimination. Marriage is a universally recognised expression of love and commitment between two people – and same-sex couples deserve the same recognition and respect as all others.

More information on the differences between civil partnership and civil marriage can be found here: http://www.marriagequality.ie/

We invite you to call on the Irish government to take the same brave step as their counterparts in Sweden, Spain, Norway, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands and several US states. Demand civil marriage for gay couples now. The introduction of marriage equality will not just be a victory for the LGBT community; it will be a victory for all of us.

A recent poll by Millward Brown Lansdowne for Marriage Equality confirms 75% of the Irish population support civil marriage for same-sex couples. We the undersigned are writing to ask that you respect the wishes of the Irish people and legalise same-sex marriage as soon as possible.

Civil partnership is a welcome step forward towards marriage equality, but we believe it is not enough. As you are probably aware, over 150 rights associated with marriage are denied to same-sex couples and their families under the law. But even if the legal rights of a couple in a civil partnership were identical to those of a married couple, it would still be discrimination. Marriage is a universally recognised expression of love and commitment between two people, and same-sex couples deserve the same recognition and respect as all others.

Ireland is a country that has always worked hard to promote equality and create an accepting, diverse community. The governments of Spain, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands and several US states have already introduced same-sex marriage. We urge you to take the same brave step as your counterparts and do all you can to legalise marriage for same-sex couples in Ireland as soon as possible. Marriage equality in our country will not just be a victory for the LGBT community; it will be a victory for all of us.

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