DUBLIN, November 16, 2004 ( – Irish homosexual activists who came to Canada to ‘marry’ and are currently challenging Ireland to grant them spousal inheritance rights have garnered support from Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern and shockingly from Dublin’s Catholic Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.  Commenting on the case to the Irish state television RTE, Ahern said, “They say: ‘We want more equality and we want to be treated fairer.’ I agree with that.  I totally agree with that. These people who are in relationships which are not illegal, they’re not immoral, they’re not improper. We should try to deal with some of the issues they have to surmount in their daily lives. And I think that’s the fairest, caring and Christian way to deal with this.”  Archbishop Martin was questioned by the Irish Independent newspaper on Ahern statements calling granting the spousal rights the “fairest” and “Christian way to deal with this.”  Archbishop Martin told the Irish Independent: “I recognise that there are many different kinds of caring relationships and these often create dependencies for those involved. The State may feel in justice that the rights of people in these relationships need to be protected.”  He continued: “I have a wide range of relationships in mind. I do not exclude gay relationships but my main concern is with all caring relationships where dependencies have come into being.”  He said the rights “would primarily be inheritance and property.” contacted the Archdiocese of Dublin to confirm the remarks. “The substance of his comments are accurate,” Paul Tighe, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Dublin told  Other bishops commenting on such situations have expressed opposition to such spousal rights noting that current provisions allow for wills and private legal arrangements to bequeath or share property between individuals.  Pope John Paul II has made statements on the recognition of spousal rights. In his famous November 4, 2000 address to the world’s politicians the Pope counseled them, “with regard to all laws which would do harm to the family, striking at its unity and its indissolubility, or which would give legal validity to a union between persons, including those of the same sex, who demand the same rights as the family founded upon marriage between a man and a woman.” He warned “Christian legislators may neither contribute to the formulation of such a law nor approve it in parliamentary assembly, although, where such a law already exists, it is licit for them to propose amendments which would diminish its adverse effects.”  See related coverage:  Gay ‘Marriage’ Court Challenge Coming to Ireland Courtesy of Canada   jhw


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