Justice minister publishes equal marriage bill
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has published draft legislation that will ”make marriage equality a reality in Ireland”.
The Marriage Bill 2015 will update laws to enable same-sex marriage, as provided for in Article 41.4 of the Constitution, which was approved in Ireland’s marriage equality referendum on 22 May 2015.
Article 41.4 provides for two persons to have the right to contract a marriage in accordance with law without distinction as to their sex.
Ms Fitzgerald said: “I am delighted to be in a position to publish the Marriage Bill 2015 which will, when enacted, enable same-sex couples to marry in Ireland.
“This Bill implements the strong desire of the Irish people that couples should be able to marry without distinction as to their sex. It will make marriage equality a reality in Ireland.
“In accordance with the priority which the Government is attaching to this matter, the legislative process will begin immediately and I will introduce the Bill into the Dáil next week.
“I hope this legislation can be enacted as soon as possible so that the first same-sex marriages can take place before the end of the year.”
Ms Fitzgerald also announced that separate arrangements are being made to reduce the fees for civil partners wishing to marry from €200 to €50.
The Marriage Bill will also see civil partnerships closed to new couples. Only couples who have already completed their civil partnership registration forms, or whose civil partnership has been delayed by an objection, will be able to register in a civil partnership.