Ireland has its first official gay civil union: Hugh Walsh and partner Barry Dignam will be tying the proverbial knot after the civil union law goes into effect today.
After 17 years together, they couldn’t be happier to be the face of public civil partnerships in the country. “We feel a certain amount of responsibility that this is a big step which Ireland is taking and that we’re going to be a part of that,” Dignam told the Irish Times.
The legislation actually came into affect on January 1, but the six civil partnerships already registered were subject to a court-ordered exemption to the usual three months notice which couples must give to the General Registrar office. This means that Walsh and Dignam are the first couple in Ireland not to require an exemption to celebrate their gay marriage.
This is indeed a historic moment, but it’s also not the full marriage equality that the Irish LGBT community is fighting for. Says Dignam:
This change is a pretty sizeable change although it is a pity it’s not full marriage. There are those in the gay community who believe strongly that civil partnership does not go far enough. They are right as well. Anything which is not equality is not equal.
Up to April 1, there have been 267 couples that have signalled their intent to the Irish government to enter into a civil partnership.
More about civil partnerships in Ireland:
(via Irish Central)