Human rights watchdog in favour of guy marriage 

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Feb.13, Ireland:

The independent human rights watchdog of Irish government  has come out strongly in favour of expanding guy marriage. The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission said such a move was a matter of equality and human rights.

Chief Commissioner Emily Logan said that the current constitutional position as interpreted by the Supreme Court does not provide full recognition and equality for same-sex couples. The marriage equality referendum proposes to amend Article 41 of the Constitution to state.

Logan said that the the opening up of civil marriage to two persons, without distinction as to their sex, was a matter of equality and human rights. After reviewing human rights and equality standards and case-law from other countries, the commission considers that the current constitutional position relating to marriage does not provide full recognition and equality of status for same-sex couples in a way that would underpin wider equality for people in Irish society, she added. She said marriage was celebrated in Ireland as a key part of an individual’s and a family’s participation in the social and cultural life of the State.

Logan said that by excluding couples from participation in a social and cultural institution on the basis of their sex, the commission considers that Irish law does not provide full recognition and equality of status for same-sex couples. “In other countries, in extending access to civil marriage, the courts have recognised that equality encompasses not only the practical benefits and responsibilities of marriage, but the equal status and recognition of their relationship within their communities.”

Logan said that although the Constitution does not explicitly define marriage as being between a man and a woman, the Supreme Court had interpreted the protections under the Constitution as extending only to a male-female marriage.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Marriage Equality and the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network welcomed the statement saying it clearly and unambiguously identifies the opening out of civil marriage to two persons, without distinction as to their sex, as a matter of equality and human rights.

In its Policy Statement on Access to Civil Marriage, the IHREC said it wished to draw the Government’s attention to the “evolving human rights jurisprudence” emerging from the European Court of Human Rights — in particular, the concept of the right to ‘family life’.

The statement said that this has been extended to include couples in same-sex relationships “to reflect the rapid evolution of social attitudes towards same-sex relationships.

The Oslo Times

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