Irish Law Updates

Friday, December 15, 2006

Same-Sex Marriage High Court Case

The full text of yesterday's decision on same-sex marriage is available at two sites:

Zappone and Gilligan v Revenue Commssioners
High Court, Dunne J., 14 December 2006

PDF version on Irish Times site: www.ireland.com/newspaper/special/2006/lesbianmarriageruling/index.pdf

Word Version on KALCase site:
www.kalcase.org

In summary, on the constitutional ground, Dunne J. said that marriage meant marriage between a man and a woman, citing cases such as Murray v Ireland [1985] I.R. 532 (see Zappone case, pp. 120 on).
On the European Convention on Human Rights ground, Dunne J. relied heavily on
Wilkinson v Kitzinger [2006] EWHC 2022 (Fam)
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2006/2022.html
(see Zappone case pp.130 on)

Sample News Story from RTE News Website:
www.rte.ie/news/2006/1214/gay.html :

Lesbian couple lose marriage recognition case
14 December 2006 22:00

A lesbian couple have lost their attempt in the High Court to have their Canadian marriage recognised in Ireland. Dr Katherine Zappone, a public policy consultant, and Dr Ann Louise Gilligan, an academic, were married in Canada in 2003. They argued that the failure to recognise their marriage breached their rights under the Irish Constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the European Charter of fundamental freedom.


But today in the High Court Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne rejected their argument. She said she could not agree with their argument that marriage under the Irish Constitution includes same-sex marriage. She also said that the position in the Constitution on marriage was not incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Dr Gilligan said she and her partner were grateful for the way their case had been handled.

Labour proposes civil union recognition

Meanwhile, the Labour Party has tabled a bill that would allow for the recognition of civil unions. The bill seeks to create a legal relationship equivalent to marriage for same-sex couples. According to Labour spokesman Brendan Howlin, the proposal does not contravene the Constitutional provision protecting the institution of marriage.

Audio and Video

News At One: Donncha O'Connell,
Dean of the Faculty of Law at NUI Galway, says that it was a comprehensive
judgement against the women

News At One: Dr Katherine Zappone,
who married Dr Ann Louise Gilligan in Canada in 2003, comments on the ruling not
to allow the Irish State recognise their marriage

One News: Bethan Kilfoil reports
from the High Court on the rejection of a lesbian couple's landmark legal
attempt to have their Canadian marriage recognised in Ireland

Nine News: Bethan Kilfoil reports
on the decision by the High Court not to allow the state recognise the marriage
of Dr Katherine Zappone and Dr Ann Louise Gilligan

Six One News: Bethan Kilfoil
reports on the decision by the High Court not to allow the state recognise the
marriage of Dr Katherine Zappone and Dr Ann Louise Gilligan


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