We are delighted to welcome this guest post from Dr. Nicola Barker; a lecturer in law and director of the LLM programme in Gender, Sexuality and Human Rights at Keele University, UK. She is author of Not the Marrying Kind: Feminist Critiques of Marriage and the Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships (forthcoming, 2011).
I was recently at an academic conference in Vermont, which was a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Vermont Civil Union and 1st anniversary of same-sex marriage in the state. Most of the conference participants were happy to celebrate marriage as an achievement of equality and access to numerous important legal rights (and responsibilities) of marriage. I can understand those sentiments, particularly in a country where access to health care may be dependent on the person one chooses as a spouse having employment benefits and spousal coverage, but I cannot join in the celebration. Likewise, I can understand the celebrations in Ireland following the introduction of civil partnerships but I do not share the jubilation.
Continue reading “Guest Post: Barker on Raining on the Civil Partnership Parade”
We are delighted to welcome this guest post from Aoife Daly, a lecturer in University of Essex. You can find out more about Aoife on our guests page.
The Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010, which for the first time in Ireland provides legal recognition for same-sex couples, was signed into law last month, meaning that same-sex couples can avail of legally-binding civil partnerships from next year. The Bill extends benefits to gay and lesbian couples that are similar to those attained by married couples in the areas of property, social welfare, succession, maintenance, pensions and tax. The rights and needs of children in relation to such families, however, are largely ignored. There is no legal recognition of any relationship between children of one partner and the other partner; nor does the Act enable same-sex couples to jointly adopt children. Another significant omission is an obligation to consider children’s interests in the instance of the breakdown of a relationship. Continue reading “CPCROCA 2010: Aoife Daly on Children in the Civil Partnership Scheme”
In this contribution to the blog carnival on the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 HRinI’s regular contributor Kieran Walsh outlines the issues relating to children and families that are discussed in more details in the posts that follow from Aoife Daly and Andrew Naurice.
The Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Bill 2009 has been signed by President McAleese and is awaiting its formal commencement. This legislation clearly marks a watershed moment in the continuing history of Irish family life. The Act, as it will become, recognises for the first time that groups other than married, opposite-sex couples can form relationships which are recognised by the state and given certain rights. However, the word family continues to be reserved for those families choosing, and indeed capable of choosing, the still prevailing paradigm of married life. The Supreme Court judgment of McD v L  IESC 81 makes clear that “[t]here is no institution in Ireland of a de facto family.” And yet still people form family ties through cohabitation and through the birth of children which are in no way linked to the marital status of the individual involved. Continue reading “CPCROCA 2010: Walsh on Children and Families”