Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Ireland Begins Performing Civil Partnerships

Courtesy of the Center for American Progress, Ireland has started granting civil partnerships to gay couples today.  These partnerships are not full marriage, and thus they do not grant full marriage rights to gay couples.  From the Irish Times, which interviewed Barry Dignam, who is among the first gay couples to receive a civil partnership today:
“This change is a pretty sizeable change although it is a pity it’s not full marriage,” he said, adding that 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,” he said, but added that he does not believe, like some, that civil partnership should be boycotted and would see himself as an incrementalist.
While I do not consider myself an "incrementalist" - for I do not believe that allowing civil unions before full marriage rights is somehow better than just allowing full marriage rights - I do agree with Bignam in his sentiment that we shouldn't let perfect be the enemy of the good.  With 61% of Irish citizens supporting marriage equality, it is obviously only a matter of time before Ireland takes that step.  So while it is unfortunate that gay couples in Ireland still do not get to enjoy marriage just as their straight peers do, we celebrate that Ireland has taken a first, large step towards equality.

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