Plaudits as Marriage Equality Becomes the "Law of the Land"

Plaudits as Marriage Equality Becomes the "Law of the Land"

Press release – for immediate release

Dublin, 22 October 2015

Ireland's independent human rights watchdog, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has hailed the passing of the Marriage Act 2015 by the Oireachtas today (22 October 2015) as a "ground-breaking moment" in the protection of human rights and equality.

The Act, which completed its final legislative stages in Seanad Éireann this afternoon, gives effect to the will of the people expressed in the Marriage Equality referendum earlier this year.

The ICCL, together with its partner organisations, Marriage Equality and GLEN (Gay and Lesbian Equality Network) led the successful Yes Equality 2015 campaign.

Speaking at Leinster House shortly after legislators completed their work, ICCL Executive Director Mr Mark Kelly said:

"Five months ago, 1,201,607 people voted to bring an end to marriage discrimination against same sex couples. It is laudable that, notwithstanding the spurious legal cases subsequently brought by individuals opposed to equality, the Government has acted swiftly to make marriage equality the law of the land".

"Ireland has been changed for the better by marriage equality and the social movement created by Yes Equality 2015 is being harnessed to bring about other much needed reforms, including repeal of the pernicious and misogynistic 8th amendment to the Constitution, which places the existence of a foetus on an equal footing with the life of a living, breathing woman. The ICCL is very proud of its contribution to this ground-breaking moment in the protection of human rights and equality in Ireland, but there is so much more to do", Mr Kelly concluded.

Note to editor:

Together with GLEN and Marriage Equality the Irish Council for Civil Liberties founded and led Yes Equality 2015, the successful civil society campaign for a Yes vote in May's marriage equality referendum. 62% of voters – 1,201,607 people – voted in favour of marriage equality.

To coincide with the passing of the Marriage Act 2015 today (22 October 2015), the ICCL has released a special commemorative issue of its publication Rights News, including a new infographic charting the organisation's work towards the achievement of marriage equality over the last 39 years.

"The ICCL and the Road to Marriage Equality" is available to download at this link:

http://www.iccl.ie/rights-news-31-autumn-2015.html
http://www.iccl.ie/attachments/download/360/RN31lr.pdf
http://www.iccl.ie/attachments/download/362/YESTimline.pdf

and printed copies of this edition of Rights News are available upon request.

ENDS


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