Hilary White

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Irish Deputy PM wants gay adoption law before same-sex ‘marriage’ referendum

Hilary White
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DUBLIN, November 4, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A week after the failure by Northern Ireland’s health minister to stop homosexual adoption in the province, the Republic of Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister has said he seeking to bring the practice south.

Eamon Gilmore, who is also the head of the militantly pro-abortion Labour Party, told a Labour Youth conference last week that legislation to allow same-sex partners to adopt children must precede a planned referendum on same-sex “marriage”. A referendum is tentatively set for autumn 2014 or spring 2015, according to the Irish Independent

“Any referendum that takes place will have to be about marriage equality and not about other issues,” Gilmore said. 

Justice Minister Alan Shatter is reported to be drafting a law that would bring the Republic into line with its northern neighbour. 

The news comes close on the heels of a decision this October by a High Court judge in Belfast that struck down the 1987 law restricting adoption to single people and opposite-sex married couples. Prohibiting adoption by unmarried, common-law partners and same-sex partners was ruled by Justice Seamus Treacy to be “discriminatory” based on European human rights laws against discrimination on the grounds of “sexual orientation”. The law already allowed single people, whether heterosexual or homosexual, to adopt. 

In its current form, the Republic’s law is in a similar position as Northern Ireland’s was, with single people, including homosexuals, allowed to adopt children, but not those in civil partnerships. 

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The civil partnership bill was passed in 2010, after receiving heavy criticism from religious leaders. One of the main points of disagreement was some clauses in the bill that criminalize conscientious objectors. Under the new law, marriage registrars who refuse to conduct civil ceremonies for homosexual partners could face criminal charges and a possible six month prison term and up to €2000 in fines. 

The law was passed without a vote in the Dail (the lower house of the Irish parliament) and was supported in the Seanad (Senate) with only 4 dissenting votes out of 52.

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