Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Gay marchers demand marriage rights

Campaigners have marched through Dublin calling for full civil marriage rigths for same-sex couples

Thousands of campaigners have marched through the streets of Dublin to demand same sex couples have full civil marriage rights.

Activists in the March for Marriage protested against the Civil Partnership Bill, which they claims treats them as second class citizens and does not recognise same sex families.

The legislation, which was signed into law last month, gives same sex couples legal recognition.

But campaigners maintain it leaves children of same-sex couples vulnerable and unprotected under Irish law.

The demonstration from City Hall to the Department of Justice on St Stephen's Green, was organised by Noise, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) campaign group.

Max Krzyzanowski, of Noise, said: "Civil Partnership excludes LGBT people from a fundamental civil and human right and makes us second-class citizens. It does not provide equality for gay people and their families. One of the most outrageous aspects of the partnership scheme is the complete lack of any rights for gay parents and their children."

Colm O'Gorman, of Amnesty International, and members of MarriagEquality, youth group BelongTo and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) showed their support at the event.

USI LGBT Rights Officer, Siobhan McGuire, said the USI believes that everyone should have the right to a full civil marriage regardless of sexual orientation or gender. "The Civil Partnership Bill, signed into law last month, is undoubtedly a big step forward for LGBT people in Ireland and Irish society in general. However, it has fallen far short of providing full equality," she added.

Mr Krzyzanowski said Noise believes that even if partnership offered all the benefits of marriage, it would still be discrimination, as a separate system cannot be called equality.

"Noise calls on the Irish Government to follow the example of Spain, Sweden, Norway, Canada, Argentina, Mexico, Iceland and listen to the voices of our community: full civil marriage is the only equality option," he added.

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