Ireland Begins Recognizing Same-Sex Partnerships from Abroad

This week, Ireland began recognizing same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships that were entered into abroad, a change that is part of Ireland’s new civil partnership law that aims to give same-sex couples most of the rights married heterosexual couples enjoy.

This recognition forms part of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 that was passed before Christmas. It will cover same-sex marriages and partnerships from 27 jurisdictions. It should be noted that couples from 17 of those territories where same-sex partners have been allowed to marry will see heir partnerships automatically downgraded to civil partnerships.

However, some unions such as French PACS will not be honored because it has been determined they do not offer the same level of rights as marriage and therefore can not be converted to civil partnerships.

The Act ensures same-sex partners will be treated in the same way as married spouses under Ireland’s tax and social welfare codes, including maintenance obligations, protection of a shared home, pension rights and succession. The law does not give joint adoption rights however. 

That Ireland did not enact a full same-sex marriage law has angered some, yet the move to recognize civil partnerships in such a strongly Catholic country has been welcomed by campaigners who have characterized it as an important first step. 

From The Irish Times:

Commenting on the recognition of foreign-registered civil partnerships and marriages Kieran Rose, Glen chairman and co-founder, said it was “fantastic progress for the thousands of lesbian and gay couples who had to go to another country to register their relationships legally”.

“Now it is being recognised in the State and with it a huge number of rights and responsibilities and people are delighted,” he said. Mr Rose also welcomed the prospect of the first civil partnerships which are due be conducted in Ireland later this year.

“I think that a whole series of celebrations are going to be had in April and in the following months and years in what will be a great time for Ireland. Everyone enjoys a wedding and people’s loved ones will now be able to participate in their joy,” he said.

An exact figure on how many same-sex couples living in Ireland will be affected by this change has not been calculated, but Ireland’s state broadcaster, RTE, estimates the number to be in excess of 1,000.

The civil partnerships law came into force January 1, 2011, and with a three-month waiting period from filing a deceleration of intent, the first civil partnerships will be held in April. 

A full list of the 27 jurisdictions whose civil partnerships and civil marriages will be recognized is available on the Irish Department of Justice website.


Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to -Marlith-.


Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman7 years ago

noted and thanx :0

Charlene R.
Charlene Rush7 years ago

It won't be long, before we become the laughing stock of the planet.
How long will it take before we grow up?

Obviously, religious fanatics are not very secure in their beliefs, otherwise, they wouldn't protest so greatly. They must want everyone to agree with them, in order to justify their position.

Frank D.
F Duffy7 years ago

Pity Ireland would not give Fathers and men the same rights as women in their secret and unjust family courts, infact if Gay unions were only about men then the Irish Government would not even bother their arses.

Karmen Kingery
Karmen Kingery7 years ago

It's a bit sad that the US is less progressive than conservative Catholic countries like Ireland, Spain, Brazil and Panama, but it does not surprise me at all.
Both Spain and Ireland recognize same-sex relationships as legally valid, but only some states in the US do. I admit, we're making progress, but I think we can do much better.
Brazil, Panama and probably other Latin American countries had female presidents, even though the culture is more conservative when it comes to woman's rights. In the US, which is a little more liberal towards women, there has yet to be one female president.

wayne hall
wayne hall7 years ago

Well done Ireland,Nice to know gay people are being reconized as Couples, may be here in oz things will change for the better, lead the way there, other counties are willing to follow, oz too.

Susan Weihofen
Susan Weihofen7 years ago


dong l.
dong l.7 years ago

Thanks Steve. Nice move Ireland.

Kay L.
KayL NOFORWARDS7 years ago

Another country takes the logical, compassionate step forward. When will the U.S. follow suite?

Paul McCarthy
Paul McCarthy7 years ago

I'm virtually 100% of Irish descent, but I'm an American, I don't have any connections with Ireland. I just always thought that Ireland was very religious, and that led me to think they'd be opposed to same-sex marriage and LGBT rights... In any case, I am pleased to find I am wrong in that presumption. This is another step forward, and another reason to state that I'm proud to be Irish (well, of Irish descent).

William Y.
William Y7 years ago

Great a gay couple from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, DC, Iowa & New Hampshire would be legal in Ireland but not in the other 45 States of the US. Talk about backwards. Welcome to the Disunited States of America.